Ms Ebba Herrlander Birgerson1, Dr Romy Winter1, Professor Roberta Julian1
1University Of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
This presentation describes an evaluation of a two-year trial of bi-lateral (perpetrator and victim) electronic monitoring of high-risk family violence perpetrators in Tasmania, completed early 2021. The project began in 2018 as a trial and was incorporated in standard business operations mid-2020. Observations of key activities, such as fitting of devices, court proceedings, and multiagency meetings, as well as semi-structured interviews with stakeholders, including perpetrator and victim participants, were conducted throughout this project to assess effectiveness against objectives including increased safety to adults and children subjected to family violence, increased perpetrator accountability, increased conviction rates for family violence and associated offences, and reduced social and justice related costs.
The project was a collaboration between Tasmania Police and Department of Justice. Family violence perpetrators were assessed by the Tasmania Police Family Violence Unit to determine suitability for electronic monitoring and monitored 24-7 by the Department of Justice’s Monitoring and Compliance Unit. The uniqueness of this Tasmanian project is that victims are able to opt-in to a service that allows victims to alert the monitoring unit if the perpetrator approaches them. The presentation will draw on both quantitative and qualitative data, focusing on the process of implementing electronic monitoring in Tasmania, including the experiences of those participating in the program. Electronic monitoring proved a successful tool in holding perpetrators to account and keeping victims safe.
Ebba Herrlander Birgerson is a researcher with the Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies (TILES) and the Disaster Resilience Research Group (DRRG) at the University of Tasmania. Her research interests include reintegration and the factors that impact the success of people returning from prison, police attitudes to returning citizens, ‘what works’ in criminal justice and what kind of system we should strive towards.
Romy Winter (PhD) teaches in the Police Studies and Emergency Management program at the University of Tasmania and is leader of the Violence and Abuse Research Unit (VARU) within the Tasmanian Institute of Law Enforcement Studies (TILES). Her research interests include risk factors for interpersonal violence; policing of family violence and vulnerable populations; the impact of violence on children; improving understanding of emotional abuse in violent relationships and police education/professionalisation.