Chubb named Home detention provider

  • Clem Simich

Chubb New Zealand Ltd. has won the contract to manage the Corrections Department's new home detention scheme starting in October, Corrections Minister Clem Simich announced today.

This morning Chubb and the Department signed a $6.5 million, five-year contract for providing home detention services. Chubb won the tender ahead of five other firms.

Home detention will be an option for offenders serving two years or less, to serve all or part of that time at home. Offenders facing sentences of more than two years will be considered for home detention three months prior to when they would first be eligible for parole.

The department aims to have 300 offenders on home detention by June next year. Likely candidates will be offenders who pose minimal risk to the community, for example those convicted of fraud or drink-drive offences. Serious violent offenders will not be eligible.

At sentencing, prisoners may be given leave by the judge to apply to the District Prisons Board to serve their sentence by way of home detention. Offenders will wear a device which triggers an alarm if the individual moves beyond the confines of the property without permission. A monitoring centre will then dispatch security officers to investigate.

Initially home detention will be available to offenders living in major urban areas: Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Tauranga, Napier, Hastings, New Plymouth, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill. It is expected the service will also be available in some smaller urban and rural areas from July next year.

"The key advantage of home detention is that it will divert offenders from prison and the negative effects that environment can have," Mr Simich said. "Offenders who have jobs will be able to keep working, and parents will also be able to maintain their family responsibilities."

"However it's important this is not seen as a soft option. Offenders will also be required to undertake programmes and intensive supervision with a probation officer to address the underlying reason for their offending."

"There is also a strong advantage for the taxpayer, as keeping an offender on home detention will cost $21,500 annually, as opposed to $30,350 to hold someone in prison."


Note to reporters:
Take care not to confuse Home Detention with the case of Anita Faisandier, the Wellington woman who is wearing an ankle bracelet as a condition of her bail while she awaits trial. Hers is a private arrangement with the court. Home Detention will apply only to sentenced prisoners and will not apply for people who have been remanded on bail.

For further information contact:
Jonathan Kinsella
Press Secretary
Phone 04 471 9082
Mobile 025 334 535