Scotland is making major changes to support the delivery of community justice. Changes which are designed to continue the focus on public safety, prevent and reduce further offending, promote desistance from crime and tackle our high rate of imprisonment.
As Cabinet Secretary for Justice, I am committed to making these changes work and strengthening our delivery of community justice, supporting those who end up in our justice system to turn their behaviours around and become contributors to an inclusive and respectful society.
I believe electronic monitoring has a role to play in supporting this change.
That is why the Electronic Monitoring Expert Working Group was set up in 2014 to look at how we could develop electronic monitoring in Scotland to help reduce further offending and make our communities safer.
The overwhelming message from the Working Group is that electronic monitoring could be used more innovatively and strategically across the justice system, and be more integrated with other interventions and support.
The Working Group's report shows that far more could be achieved if we were to extend the usage of electronic monitoring to a broader range of situations, introduce a range of person-centred supportive measures and to introduce new technologies. Moving from viewing electronic monitoring as purely a form of punishment or control to one which is individually tailored to reflect the needs, risks and circumstances of the individual in order to secure longer term desistance.
The Working Group's report is not the final word on the future model of electronic monitoring in Scotland. Your views, experience and expertise will be crucial to help scope the legislative changes required to implement the Working Group's vision and make best use of this monitoring tool and emerging technology.
I look forward to hearing your views.
Michael Matheson, MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Justice
Email: Electronic Monitoring Unit