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Management of Offenders Bill Published

The Scottish Government has published its Management of Offenders Bill, which includes measures relating to new electronic monitoring technologies.

If passed by Parliament, the bill will allow the use of GPS and other technologies to improve the effectiveness of electronic monitoring. Currently, people are monitored in the home using radio frequency technology. The use of GPS will enable the use of exclusion zones that can offer victims significant reassurance and respite.

The bill also includes proposals to reduce the amount of time people will have to disclose certain convictions to better enable them to gain employment, as well as simplifying and modernising processes for the Parole Board.

“The expansion of electronic monitoring increases the options available to manage and monitor people serving their sentence in the community,” commented Justice Secretary Michael Matheson, who introduced the bill. “Our justice reforms have delivered large reductions in reoffending and I am determined to build on the progress made. It’s our duty to ensure victims see that people who are convicted of an offence are held to account, and they can be assured by the opportunities that electronic monitoring can offer, including in future the use of exclusion zones.”

“Changes to the length of time people will have to disclose their convictions can make a huge difference to those who genuinely want to turn their lives around,” he added. “Gaining employment is often crucial to enabling people to turn away from crime and make positive contributions to their families, communities and the wider economy and society. This is a key part of breaking generational cycles of offending behaviour in order to reduce reoffending to help keep crime down and communities safe.”

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