Electronic monitoring: Important information for defendants
17 November 2020
Electronic monitoring as a condition of bail (EM Bail) is granted to suitable defendants who would otherwise be remanded in custody, in prison, while awaiting a court hearing.
A person on EM Bail wears an electronic tracker and lives at an address approved by the Court.
About Electronic Monitoring
The Court can impose electronic monitoring as part of your bail conditions. This requires you to wear a tracker 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You must live at an agreed address at all times unless you have permission to leave for an approved purpose, such as work.
The bail conditions will determine when you MUST remain at your home address. If you require an absence to leave your address during your curfew, you must speak with the EM Bail Team.
A Monitoring unit will be placed at your home address. The tracker is monitored by the Monitoring Centre which can confirm your whereabouts at any time.
If you breach any of your EM Bail conditions, this will be reported to Police and you may be breached. This could result in your arrest.
What happens if I am given EM Bail?
You must follow your EM Bail condition and go directly to your approved address and wait for a Field Officer to arrive. They will set up the monitoring equipment and put the electronic tracker on your leg.
A Probation Officer or Bail Support Officer will then also visit to induct you within 72 hours of your release.
You will be electronically monitored for as long as the EM Bail continues.
Who are the Field Officers?
The Department has contracted Attenti to provide electronic monitoring services. Attenti provides the electronic equipment and managed the Monitoring Centre. Attenti contacts First Security to carry out all electronic monitoring field services including installing and servicing your electronic monitoring equipment and responding to alerts. Field Officers will wear Attenti/First Security identification at all times and will in First Security uniform.
What do I do if I need an absence to leave my home?
You must call the EM Bail team first if you want to plan some time away from your home, even if it is just a short trip to the Work and Income office. The EM Bail Team will let you know if your absence is approved and tell you what you need to do and what happens next.
Make sure you call the EM Bail Team at least 24 hours before any planned short-term absence. If you don’t, your absence might not be approved.
Remember, you may only be permitted an absence if your bail conditions allow for it.
What happens if I break my Bail conditions?
The tracker will trigger an alarm and a Field Officer or Police will arrive to check on you if you:
- Try to take off the tracker
- Leave your address without permission
- Deviate from your agreed absence
- Are late back from a planned absence
- Do not charge the equipment
You may be arrested and have to appear before the Court who will decide whether your EM Bail should continue.
What happens if there is an emergency – can I leave without permission?
You can leave without permission if:
- You need immediate medical or dental treatment; or
- There is an immediate danger of death or injury to you (or a person you have the sole responsibility for) – such as fire, earthquake, flood or violence.
If you have time, you should call the EM Bail team on 0800 EM BAIL (0800 362 245) or phone the team as soon as you are able to advise them of the emergency situation as Police will be notified of the departure.
Contact with the EM Bail team
The EM Bail team’s role at Corrections is to keep in contact with the Bailee and the occupants of the house.
If you have any difficulties come up contact the EM Bail team on 0800 EM BAIL (0800 362 245) as soon as possible. The EM Bail team are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Electronic monitoring equipment
Charging your tracker
NOTE: It is an offence not to charge your tracker.
You will be required to charge your tracker for 2 hours every day. The cordless charger enables you to charge your tracker without being tether to a power socket and will allow you to carry out most normal activities in your home environment while charging.
To charge your tracker, unplug the cordless charger from the power lead and attach it to the base of the tracker.
To fully charge a low tracker battery will take approximately 2 hours. The “power” light on the charger turns from red to green when the battery is fully charged. The tracker vibrates when being connected to, and disconnected from, the charger. The tracker will also vibrate when the trackers battery levels are low indicating that you need to immediately charge your tracker.
Damage to the tracker or monitoring unit
Any damage must be immediately reported to the EM Bail team. You must provide all information about how the unit got damaged. If the damage is intentional, you will be pursued through the Courts for reparation.
Taking care of your electronic monitoring equipment
- Have the cordless charger attached to the tracker when bathing or showering
- Let the cordless charger get wet
- Move the monitoring unit
- Open any of the equipment
- Unplug the monitoring unit
- Cover the monitoring unit
- Let the monitoring unit get wet
- Paint or otherwise modify any of the equipment
- Expose the equipment in any way
- Leave the address when the cordless charger is attached to your tracker.
Can I work while subject to EM Bail?
Yes, however, you will need a bail condition that states you can attend employment. If you have this condition, approval will then need to be given before you can attend your chosen place of work.
Who approves the defendant to undertake employment?
The Judge decides if a defendant on EM Bail can continue working or start a new job, the EM Bail team will then monitor the defendant.
If the defendant is directed not to take up a particular type of employment or work for a particular employer, they will be given a full explanation why.
Reasons for directing the defendant not to engage in certain types of employment may include, but are not limited to, the
- Nature of work and work place(s)
- Type of work being inappropriate, given the offending history
- Location of the work putting a victim or other person at risk
- Location presenting a risk to reoffending
- Direct interference with the offender’s ability to fulfil the standard and special conditions of their sentence, particularly any programmes they may be required to attend.
Who will be provided with information about the defendant's charges?
The employer or their identified representative will be told about the defendant's charges. Charges are confidential and no other employees need to know.
Who is responsible for the defendant at work?
Other than being responsible for providing the standard conditions for employment, the employer is not responsible for an electronically monitored defendant. However, an employer may be asked to verify attendance.
The employer is like an approved sponsor of the defendant and someone who the Court expects will be a positive influence and will not intentionally allow or support non-compliance with the terms and conditions of the electronically monitored bail order
Will the defendant be visited while at work?
It is possible a Field Officer or Police may attend the defendant’s work place if there are any concerns around the defendant’s electronic monitoring equipment or if the defendant is in breach of any of their bail conditions.
Where possible, these visits will be made when it will cause the least disruption to the defendant's work.
Will the defendant need to have absences from work?
Yes, the employer must accept that the defendant may be required to attend Court or any other appointments that may be required in relation to their sentence or order, or the conditions of their bail.
What happens if the hours of work change?
Depending on the wording of the bail condition to attend employment (if it specifies work times or not), an application may need to be made via your lawyer to the Court requesting to change the bail condition.
If the Judge grants the variation to the defendant's bail conditions the EM Bail Team will be notified of the changes to the monitoring.
What happens if there is a change to the employment situation?
If a defendant’s terms or employment change the EM Bail team should be informed as soon as possible. Some changes may require a variation of the defendant's bail condition.
What happens if a defendant fails to report to work?
If a defendant fails to report to work, the employer or the employers identifies representative should notify the EM Bail team immediately or 0800 EM BAIL (0800 362 245) or via email embail@Corrections.govt.nz
Can an employer withdrawn their consent?
Employers may at any time withdraw their consent to a person on electronic monitoring working at their workplace. No specific reason for doing so is required.