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Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000

Electronic Monitoring: Sections 46, 50, 51, 52, 62, 63, and 65

22.The Criminal Justice Act 1991 made provision for court ordered curfews that could be monitored electronically. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 amended the 1991 Act to enable this provision to be piloted in selected areas before being implemented nationally. From 1995, electronic monitoring of curfew orders was piloted in various areas of the country. The Crime (Sentences) Act 1997 amended the 1991 Act so that the offender’s consent was not required for electronic monitoring to be carried out. On the basis of these successful trials, the arrangements were made available nationally from 1st December 1999.

23.In addition, the 1997 Act enabled trials to begin in 1998 for the electronic monitoring of curfew orders imposed on persistent petty offenders, fine defaulters, and offenders aged 10 to 15 years old. Electronic monitoring of curfews imposed as a condition of bail was also the subject of a pilot scheme in 1998 and 1999. Electronically monitored curfew orders for 10 to 15 year olds will be rolled out nationally on 1 February 2001. No decision has yet been taken on the future of the remaining uses.

24.The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 amended the Criminal Justice Act 1991 so as to provide for certain categories of prisoner to spend part of their sentence on Home Detention Curfew subject to a risk assessment. The provisions came into operation in January 1999 and compliance is also being monitored electronically.

25.Electronic Monitoring is delivered by the private sector. Following trials of curfew orders, new five-year contracts were issued to the private sector in 1999. In the first year of the contract (28 January 1999 to 31 January 2000), electronic monitoring was used in 19,642 cases. Of these, 84.5% (16,589) were prisoners on Home Detention Curfew, and 13.1% (2,568) were curfew orders made under the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (others account for the remaining 2.4% (471)). As at May 2000 the completion rate of the Home Detention Curfew scheme was around 94% and is estimated around 90% for all other forms of electronic monitoring.

26.This Part of the Act provides for the extension of electronic monitoring. It creates a new disposal – an exclusion order – which can be used as a free-standing sentence or as a requirement of a community penalty. This order will require an offender to stay away from a certain place or places at certain times. Such monitoring is aimed at offenders who present a particular danger or nuisance to a particular victim or particular victims.

27.These Sections will allow for curfew and/or exclusion requirements to be a condition of a community penalty. In addition, they make provisions for the electronic monitoring of these exclusion/curfew requirements as well as allowing for the electronic monitoring of any other requirement of a community order.

28.These Sections also make provision for electronic monitoring to be imposed where offenders are released from custody. They explicitly provide for the electronic monitoring of exclusion or curfew requirements where offenders are subject to licence or Notice of Supervision, and establish the power of the Secretary of State to monitor electronically the movements of such offenders whilst subject to post-release supervision.

29.This part of the Act also makes a change to the existing Home Detention Curfew scheme. It excludes sex offenders subject to the notification requirements of Part I of the Sex Offenders Act 1997 from the scheme.

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