BC Corrections, which has used electronic supervision (ES, also known as electronic monitoring) for nearly two decades, is issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to explore opportunities to take advantage of advancements in related technology.
Under an existing contract that expires July 31, 2015, BC Corrections uses radio-frequency ankle bracelets that transmit a signal over an offender's phone line to a central monitoring unit, which is staffed 24/7. These devices are used to monitor curfew and house arrest conditions.
While this technology is reliable and accurate, and alerts BC Corrections the moment a client violates their conditions by leaving their home, the RFP is seeking to enhance it.
Through the RFP, BC Corrections is seeking a vendor that is able to:
- Provide GPS-enabled devices.
- Capture location information about the client.
- Monitor when an alarm is triggered and report those alarms immediately to BC Corrections.
- Provide devices that have pager-like communication capabilities, allowing the delivery of alerts both at offenders' residences and over the cellular network to clients in the community.
For its part, BC Corrections would manage alarm response, handle all contact with its clients, and maintain all related logistical information, including the tailoring of "no-go" zones to individual ES clients and their conditions.
GPS technology, which other provinces have tested in pilot projects, can provide an additional mode of supervision for high-risk offenders in the community.
It's important to note that GPS technology, while able to monitor an offender's movements outside of the home, works on the same technology as cellular phones and navigation devices. These depend on the range of cellular networks and the ability to maintain contact with global positioning satellites.
BC Corrections regards any form of ES as a supplement to - and not a replacement for - other direct case management activities conducted by community corrections staff, such as regular, face-to-face meetings with probation officers.
BC Corrections invests approximately $1 million per year, under the existing contract. The budget for an enhanced program may change, given the technology involved in newer generation devices and the more intensive monitoring envisioned. However, it will not be determined until after the RFP has closed.
The RFP closes on July 7, 2015, and it is expected a new contract will be in place by July 31, 2015.
To view the RFP, browse for bid opportunity number ON-002678 on the BC Bid website: www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca
Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Justice