Parolees as young as 16 could be forced to wear electronic monitoring devices, and subject to drug and alcohol tests regardless of age as a condition of their parole, under tough new laws introduced today by the Andrews Labor Government.
Electronic monitoring will be targeted at young offenders who have committed serious offences such as murder, rape, home invasions, car jackings and culpable driving resulting in death.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said the new laws will better protect the community by improving the monitoring of young parolees transitioning back into the community.
Under the legislation, the independent Youth Parole Board will be required to cancel parole if a young offender breaches a condition of parole, such as tampering with a monitoring device or being charged with a serious offence while on parole.
This presumption of cancellation brings the law into line with adult offenders convicted of serious crimes such as sexual offending and serious assault, who then offend while on parole.
Electronic monitoring keeps track of parolees, ensuring they maintain curfew and restrict their movements to certain areas, such as a school or workplace.
The Labor Government is providing over $2 million over two years in the Victorian Budget 2018/19 to trial the scheme. The funding will support infrastructure costs involved in the trial, along with the management of compliance for young people, analysis and evaluation of both schemes.
The trial is expected to launch in the first half of 2019 following the roll out of new technology by Corrections Victoria.
Laws introduced by the Labor Government and already in effect require mandatory parole conditions to be placed on serious youth offenders, including prohibiting the offender from associating with certain people and visiting certain locations
We’ve also brought in laws that ensure the Youth Parole Board is notified within 48 hours of critical incidents at youth justice facilities, so they can take these incidents into account when considering a young person’s parole eligibility.
The Labor Government is ensuring that the youth justice system is modern, strong and effective with a $145 million investment in the recent Budget.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“Electronic monitoring will be a constant reminder to some of our most serious young offenders to comply with their orders – if they do the wrong thing, we will know.”
“Alcohol and drug abuse can destroy lives and lead to offending behaviour, which is why testing will help young people stay on track to recovery.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020