Friday, June 21, 2024

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HomeIssue 31Costs savings for tracking crims

Costs savings for tracking crims

Sir – The NT Government will introduce electronic monitoring technology to locate and track an offender’s movements.
A monitoring device can be placed on an offender and quickly alert agencies when the person is in an unauthorised location.
This technology allows us to track an offender’s movements 24 hours a day, without the need for costly routine check-ups by Police and Correctional Services.
Electronic monitoring also has the ability to significantly reduce imprisonment costs, by getting offenders out of prison beds and back into the community under constant surveillance.
Tracking technology could cost as little as $45 per person per day, compared to more than $200 to keep an offender in a Northern Territory prison.
Prisoners requiring additional surveillance may no longer be confined to a prison cell and instead work and contribute to the community.
This will enable more prisoners to begin employment or volunteer work and participate in the Country Liberals Government’s Sentenced to a Job program.
Sentenced to a Job puts offenders into workplaces where the skills they learn can be used for long term employment, reducing the likelihood of them returning to prison.
Ultimately, I would like to close down prison beds and have prisoners working and being productive members of society.
John Elferink
Minister for Correctional Services


  1. How does the ability to track a person lead to them working or volunteering? This idea requires that the tracked person is constrained by being tracked, that he cares that authorities know where he is.
    So will a tracked person not attend a distant funeral, nor drive off to get his share of royalties, nor head off to WA to see his family because he is tracked?
    Will his extended family accept that being tracked is a compelling reason to not fulfill these obligations? Or will they mock the idea and exert irresistible pressure on him to conform?
    This is only a cheap option if it works. If it doesn’t there will be dozens of tracked people in places they shouldn’t be at any one time and each of them will have to be expensively hunted down and returned to the prison.
    Once returned to prison they will have to be punished for their escapades and so they will serve more time. All up the total costs of tracking, hunting down and re sentenced, will be much higher than if prisoners had not been set loose with a tracking device in the first place.

  2. The ability to track a person in practical terms likely focuses on recording their being where they are ordered to be at particular times, or, recording where they go, particularly whether they approach or enter places courts order they stay away from.
    Device communication method may limit where devices can be used efficiently and at low cost.

  3. Pretty expensive methods to find a drunk. It would be easier to just drop into the known drinking locations situated within walking distance of any alcohol outlet in any town in the NT. The minister just has to take a 100 meter stroll through the parks around Government House in Darwin at any time of the day.
    Some are so obliging that they drink, then sleep in front of the Supreme Court! Day or night, others get drunk in bars and clubs and then wander up and down Mitchell Street, ready to be picked up. NO NEED TO TRACK THEM. The need is to treat them!


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