Conditions of Release

last updated April 2015

In partnership with UN Women, The Advocates for Human Rights created the following sections for UN Women’s Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls. This section, along with sections addressing other forms of violence against women and girls, may be found under Legislation at

Conditions of release

In determining bail in cases of violations of protection orders, police and judicial officials must make determinations about victim safety, including the threat that the violent offender presents to the complainant/survivor, her family, and her associates, and must place conditions upon the release of the offender that reflect these concerns.  See the section on Lethality and risk assessments.

(See: Family Violence:  A Model State Code, Sec 208.)

Legislation should provide specific direction to law enforcement officials about the conditions of release for violent offenders who have been arrested for violating a protection order or for an act of domestic violence.

For example, the Law of Guyana contains the following provisions:

Where the court is required to determine whether to grant bail in respect of an offense under section 32 [violating a protection order or an interim protection order] the court shall take into account, inter alia-

(a)  the need to secure the health, safety and well-being of the person named in the protection order;

(b)  the need to secure the health, safety and well-being of any relevant child;

(c)  any hardship that may be caused to the defendant or to members of the family if bail is not granted;

(d)  the defendant’s record with regard to the commission of violent acts and whether there is evidence in the record of physical or psychological abuse to children; and

(e)  any other matters which may be relevant to the case in question. Sec. 35(1).


Some US states require that certain violent offenders who may be likely to re-offend wear a satellite tracking device so that if they enter certain prohibited zones, such as the areas surrounding the survivor’s home, workplace, or daycare, an alarm is triggered to warn police and the survivor. Advocates report that when an offender knows that they are being monitored and the consequences are swift, homicides related to domestic abuse drop. However, such devices should be used only if the state can ensure a rapid response when an alarm is triggered. Failure to respond in a timely manner will only give a false sense of security to victims and signal to offenders that they can ignore the tracking device. The  use of GPS devices cost about $25 USD per day per offender, compared to $75 USD to keep an offender in jail. 

For Example, In 2010, The Kentucky, USA, passed a law that provides judges with the authority to order individuals involved in domestic violence cases to wear ankle monitors with a GPS device. The complainant/survivor carries a device that notifies her when the perpetrator is nearby. The law also requires the court to notify the complainant/survivor of the operations and limitations of the system.

Similarly, legislation in Connecticut, USA, permitted establishment of a pilot program in 2010 allowing courts to order persons charged with violation of a protection order and who has been determined to be a high-risk offender to be subject to electronic monitoring. The monitoring is designed to warn law enforcement, a statewide information collection center and the complainant/survivor when an offender wearing the device comes within a certain distance of her. See also, Ramsey County project will use GPS device on stalkers, Minneapolis StarTribune (November 1, 2012).

The Act Further Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence (2006) of Massachusetts, USA (hereinafter the law of Massachusetts) states:

 “Where a defendant has been found in violation of an abuse prevention order under this chapter or a protection order issued by another jurisdiction, the court may, in addition to the penalties provided for in this section after conviction, as an alternative to incarceration and, as a condition of probation, prohibit contact with the victim through the establishment of court defined geographic exclusion zones including, but not limited to, the areas in and around the complainant’s residence, place of employment, and the complainant’s child’s school, and order that the defendant to wear a global positioning satellite tracking device designed to transmit and record the defendant’s location data.  If the defendant enters a court defined exclusion zone, the defendant’s location data shall be immediately transmitted to the complainant, and to the police, through an appropriate means including, but not limited to, the telephone, an electronic beeper or a paging device.  The global positioning satellite device and its tracking shall be administered by the department of probation.  If a court finds that the defendant has entered a geographic exclusion zone, it shall revoke his probation and the defendant shall be fined, imprisoned or both as provided in this section.  Based on the defendant’s ability to pay, the court may also order him to pay the monthly costs or portion thereof for monitoring through the global positioning satellite tracking system.” Ch. 418, Sect. 7

See also:

·         Illinois, USA, Code of Criminal Procedure, Sec. 110-5.

·         The Criminal Code of Portugal (2007) also provides for technical monitoring of offenders.

·         See Safety Net Project, National Network to End Domestic Violence.