Strengthen your plan for bail, a peace bond, or conditional sentence with RSC's GPS monitoring program - the gold standard in Canada.
What is GPS Monitoring?
RSC’s GPS ankle bracelet records the wearer’s location once every minute. With GPS monitoring software, we create zones and schedules that reflect the court-ordered terms of the wearer’s bail, peace bond, or conditional sentence. Common examples of such terms are a house arrest, curfew, or a requirement that the wearer not attend at a certain address. If the GPS bracelet detects a violation of those terms, it sends an alert and RSC calls the police. The police can also choose to receive alerts directly.
How Can GPS Monitoring Help Me?
Bail If you and your lawyer believe you may be denied bail, or if you have already been denied bail and plan to apply for a review, GPS monitoring might help tip the balance in favour of release. Over 800 people across Canada have now been granted pre-trial release when including RSC’s GPS program as part of their plan of supervision. Your lawyer will give you advice about whether or not GPS monitoring might help in the specific circumstances of your case. We can provide your lawyer with case law to assist them in giving you advice and in presenting the GPS monitoring to the Crown and court.
In some cases, the court may be concerned that a person will not respect conditions like a house arrest, curfew, or rules about where they are allowed, and not allowed, to go. In such cases, GPS monitoring can help because courts recognize that some people who breach their conditions do so because they think the chances of being caught are low. With GPS monitoring, they know they will be caught, so they are more likely to comply with their conditions. And if they do violate a condition, the monitoring means it will be caught the first time, so the court can be confident that the person can’t breach repeatedly before being caught. Courts also recognize that a person who is monitored is less likely to commit further offences, because they know that if they do, there will be a record placing them at the scene. In the words of one judge, this deterrence effect of being monitored “changes the calculus” when courts are weighing the factors in favour of detention or release.
In Canada, the law of bail sets out three grounds on which it is justified for an accused person, who is presumed innocent, to be denied bail. These are known as the primary ground – the risk that the person will not show up for their trial, the secondary ground – the risk that they will commit further offences that endanger public safety or that they will interfere with the administration of justice, and the tertiary ground – the risk that releasing the person would undermine the public’s confidence in the justice system. There is now abundant case law establishing that RSC’s GPS monitoring can help address concerns on any of these three grounds. As noted above, we can provide counsel with case law that will help save them research time and more effectively present the GPS monitoring aspect of a plan of supervision.
While GPS monitoring is an onerous condition, in some cases it may enable the overall conditions to be less onerous than they might have been without the monitoring. For example, this can be so where the court is satisfied that, with GPS monitoring in place, the wearer can be permitted greater freedom of movement, for example to work or attend school, instead of being placed under strict house arrest.
Time spent on GPS monitoring while on bail may be taken into consideration by a sentencing court when calculating credit for time spent under strict bail conditions.
While the legal tests for being granted a conditional sentence rather than an in-custody sentence are different than those for bail, similar considerations apply and GPS monitoring can help make the difference. Conditional sentences often have terms similar to bail orders, such as a house arrest, curfew, and requirements about where the person is allowed, or not allowed, to go. If the court has doubts that a person will comply with their conditions, including GPS monitoring in your proposed plan may help the court decide that it is appropriate to grant a conditional sentence rather than an in-custody sentence.
When the Crown has concerns about resolving a matter with a peace bond because they have doubts that the person will comply with the peace bond’s conditions, including GPS monitoring may help alleviate those concerns, for reasons similar to those explained above for bail.
How do I add GPS monitoring to my plan?
RSC will send a package of written materials to your lawyer. These written materials are designed to be provided to the Crown and court. They explain how the technology and our program work. We do not need to visit the residence to do any advance testing. A landline is not required.
Sometimes our written materials are accepted by the Crown and the court without the need for us to testify. We can also provide a “readiness letter” confirming that we will provide the monitoring if the court releases the person with a monitoring requirement. If we do need to testify, we can do so in person, by phone, or by video. There is a cost for us to testify. For in person testimony, we charge $500 for hearings in the Greater Toronto Area or in Montreal. The fees are higher for other locations to cover our travel costs. Video testimony is $450 (from our local courthouse facility in Newmarket, Ontario). Testimony by phone or Skype is $250. Contact us to confirm pricing for your case.
Before you decide to propose being monitored by our program, it is important that you consider the following:
- the person being monitored, or someone on their behalf, is responsible for all costs
- the person being monitored, and any sureties, must sign comprehensive waivers of confidentiality to enable us to share the monitoring data and all other information transparently with law enforcement
- being monitored by our GPS program means that not only will we report violations of conditions, but we will also provide police with current or historical location data on request and assist police with live surveillance.