Annual Report 1996 - 1997

Home Detention

Legislation to introduce a pre-release Home Detention program into South Australia was enacted in 1986. Legislation to introduce Home Detention as a supervised bail option was proclaimed in 1987. The Home Detention program:

As of 30 June 1997, there were 127 people being monitored on Home Detention in South Australia. About 31% of these people were on bail, the remainder being sentenced prisoners at the end of their sentence. About 80% of these people reside in the Adelaide metropolitan area, with the remainder located at major country centres, in particular Mount Gambier, Port Augusta and Murray Bridge.

During a period of Home Detention a person is normally required to remain at his/her residence. However, approval may be given by the Department or a Magistrate to visit other locations for work, medical or other reasons.

There are two areas of Home Detention, Bail Home Detention and Pre-Release Home Detention.

Pre-Release Home Detention

Pre-Release Home Detention is a departmental scheme designed to provide low risk, low security prisoners with the opportunity to serve the final part of their sentence at a residence. The Department does not release violent or sex offenders on this scheme.

The following table lists the release information on Pre-release Home Detention:

INTAKES DISCHARGES REVOKES CASELOAD

(at 30/06/97)

354

281

54

87

Bail Home Detention

Bail Home Detention is a departmental service offered to the Courts Administration Authority as an alternative to ‘remanded to prison’ when this would cause undue hardship on the alleged offender. The following table lists information on Bail Home Detention:

INTAKES DISCHARGES REVOKES CASELOAD

(at 30/06/97)

128

57

55

40

Both Home Detention schemes operate with a success rate comparable with other States.

Home Detention Review

In 1995 the Department initiated a formal program review of Home Detention as part of the Department’s efforts to assess all its activities against best practice standards and deliver high quality customer service.

The Home Detention Best Practice Review noted:

"The Home Detention program has achieved a high degree of acceptance within the South Australian Criminal Justice System. The Courts have significantly increased use of Bail Home Detention in the last twelve months. The program is also well respected nationally, with many of its pioneering features being adopted over the last nine years by other jurisdictions. In 1995 Australia’s largest private electronics provider, the Victorian based Telsol Pty Ltd ventured that in their opinion the South Australian Home Detention program represented Australian best practice."

In addition, the review recognised that improvements could be made and detailed 24 recommendations in three main areas:

  • policy;
  • information management; and
  • operational policy and practice.

The implementation of these recommendations is currently underway and will result in a fully integrated program that addresses the requirements of a best practice Home Detention program. The review will be implemented by June 1998. Following implementation a modified review will occur to establish an ongoing mechanism for improvement in service delivery.

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