19 Aug 2015

More electronic monitoring could backfire, MPs told

3:37 pm on 19 August 2015

MPs have heard that a bill to extend electronic monitoring to more released prisoners could have the unintended consequence of increasing the prison population.

A select committee is considering a bill that would extend electronic monitoring to offenders released from a sentence of two years or less, and offenders sentenced to intensive supervision.

Rethinking Crime and Punishment founder Kim Workman told the MPs that an increasing emphasis on electronic monitoring was coming at the expense of helping released prisoners reintegrate into the community.

Mr Workman said released prisoners did not like being monitored electronically and it could reduce their motivation to reduce offending.

"If, at the end of the monitoring period, that person reverts to the behaviour that he or she was sent to prison for, then it's a waste of money."