Improving community safety or just another form of imprisonment?
Electronic monitoring in  the criminal justice system

The Uniting Church in Australia, and the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania, has committed itself to prevent family, domestic and sexual violence in all their forms and to support survivors of these forms of abuse.

One criminal justice option that has continued to grow in use is electronic monitoring of those that have broken the law or been accused for breaking the law. Electronic monitoring requires the person who has broken the law to wear an anklet that allows their location to be determined. It can be used as a response to crimes such as family, domestic and sexual violence and drink driving.

Advocates for electronic monitoring argue it can assist in deterring re-offending and can serve as an alternative to imprisonment, allowing the person to continue to live in the community. Those opposed to electronic monitoring argue that it has the same impact on the person being monitored as being sent to prison.

The following consultation paper from the Justice and International Mission Cluster is seeking the views of Uniting Church members on what position the Synod should adopt, if any, in relation to electronic monitoring as a measure to prevent crime, make the community safer and assist in the rehabilitation of offenders.

>Click to Download the Electronic Monitoring Consultation Paper Feb 2022<

Consideration of electronic monitoring as a possible tool for crime prevention, community safety and rehabilitation of offenders will not detract from existing positions of the Synod in the area of criminal justice. Existing positions include:

  • Advocating the prevention of crime and addressing the cause of crime is far preferable to dealing with crimes after they have occurred;
  • Prison should be a last resort, for the purpose of keeping community safe from unacceptable risks of on-going criminal behaviour that would cause harm to people;
  • Support for programs and services that assist survivors of crime;
  • Support for programs and services that assist in the rehabilitation of those that have broken the law, including mentoring programs, housing and employment support; and
  • Support for restorative justice programs where they serve the needs of survivors, offenders and the community generally.

Written feedback can be provided to:

Justice and International Mission Cluster
Centre for Theology and Ministry
29 College Crescent
Parkville, Victoria, 3052

Feedback or requests for a conversation can also be provided by e-mail to

For a direct phone conversation or to set up a conversation call (03) 9340 8807.

Comments and feedback are requested by Monday 30 May 2022.