Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

August 11, 2008 09:13 ET

Government Initiates Electronic Monitoring for Federal Offenders

MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 11, 2008) - The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety today announced that the Government of Canada is launching a program to electronically monitor federal offenders.

"This initiative will better protect communities and provide an additional tool for the Correctional Service of Canada and police to prevent crime. Our Government is determined to ensure that those offenders who are released by the National Parole Board into the community are more effectively monitored", said Minister Day. "We have listened to police and victims groups who have been requesting such a tool for years. Compelling offenders to abide by the conditions of their release is a key aspect of our reform of Canada's prison system."

The one-year pilot, which will begin in September 2008, will include the monitoring of up to 30 offenders in the Ontario Region. Based on the results of the pilot project, the Government will examine options for extending this program across Canada.

The electronic monitoring system will function by having an offender wear an ankle bracelet with a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver that reports its position to a monitoring network. Correctional Service Canada (CSC) will be alerted whenever an offender violates conditions such as curfews, residency or location restrictions. Following an alert, appropriate action will be taken and the police may be called as required.

It is anticipated that electronic monitoring will make our communities safer in the following three ways:

1. Quickly detecting any violations of certain types of release conditions;

2. Compelling offenders to abide by the terms of their release; and,

3. Increasing safety for parole officers conducting late night checks of offenders under imposed curfews.

CSC has entered into an agreement with the Nova Scotia government, which will provide support and advice based on their experience with this technology.

"In 2006, Nova Scotia became the first province in the country to use GPS technology to monitor offenders," said Justice Minister and Attorney General Cecil Clarke. "We are pleased to share the knowledge and expertise we have gained over the past two years with the Government of Canada."

While CSC will use Nova Scotia's electronic monitoring systems, CSC will be responsible for monitoring the offenders throughout the duration of the pilot project.

"I am very pleased with the government's announcement. Enhanced supervision through electronic monitoring will provide victims and the public greater protection," added Steve Sullivan, Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime.

This initiative complements the Tackling Violent Crime Act which came into force earlier this year. This legislation provides for better monitoring of offenders who have reached the end of their sentences, and have been released into the community, but still require police supervision.

For more information, please visit the website

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Stockwell Day
    Minister of Public Safety
    Melisa Leclerc
    Director of Communications