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Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000

Sections 62, 63 and 64: Conditions or requirements of release of prisoners – electronic monitoring and drug testing

141.Section 62 will provide powers to include, in the licence of any prisoner being released from a custodial sentence, a requirement to submit to electronic monitoring. The Secretary of State currently has the statutory power to attach conditions to a release licence. It is therefore already possible to impose curfew conditions, non-contact or exclusion conditions, and such conditions are used where appropriate. This Section will enable these types of condition to have the additional requirement of electronic monitoring attached to them. At present, the only statutory basis for the use of electronic monitoring of curfew conditions in a release licence is under the Home Detention Curfew scheme, which applies only to prisoners serving sentences of less than 4 years.

142.The new powers provided for inSubsection (2)(a) may be used in the following ways:

  • where a licence requires the released person to observe a curfew or otherwise remain at a specified place, electronic monitoring could be used to determine whether the curfew is observed;

  • where a licence requires the released person not to enter a specified place or places, electronic monitoring could be used to determine whether that person has entered the restricted area.

143.In addition, Subsection (2)(b) of Section 55 introduces new powers enabling the “tracking” of offenders released from prison on licence, by electronically monitoring their whereabouts, on a continuous basis, until the expiry of the licence or the removal of the condition, whichever happens first. Suitable technology to support “tracking” is not currently available, but is under development. These powers will therefore provide the basis for making use of “tracking” technology as and when it becomes available. Subsection (3) of Section 55 establishes that these new powers should not be used to achieve the electronic monitoring of curfew conditions imposed on prisoners who are subject to the Home Detention Curfew scheme. Those powers are provided for separately in the Criminal Justice Act 1991, as amended by the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

144.Section 63 makes similar provision to those in Section 62 and Section 64 but applies to those released on a Notice of Supervision under Section 65 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991, rather than a licence. This covers some young offenders under 22 years of age who are released from a young offender institution and those released under Section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. Section 63 also stipulates that any electronic monitoring or drug testing condition included in a Notice of Supervision must cease at the sentence expiry date - the date on which the person would (but for release) have served the custodial sentence in full.

145.Section 64 provides powers to impose drug testing conditions on those who are convicted of a trigger offence and are subsequently released from prison on licence, provided they are over 18 at the time of release from custody. It is already a standard condition in release licences that a prisoner should be “of good behaviour” whilst on licence. These new powers will be used to determine compliance with that condition in respect of drug use, and may also be used to determine compliance with other more specific conditions which may be imposed in individual cases.

146.The enforcement mechanism for breaches of electronic monitoring or drug testing conditions or requirements will be the same as that applying in respect of any other type of condition or requirement. The arrangements will be those already in place for, and determined by, the particular type of licence or Notice of Supervision.

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