JIS News

The Government is moving to alleviate overcrowding in the island’s prisons, with Cabinet’s approval of measures for the full implementation of the electronic monitoring of criminal offenders.
Electronic monitoring is a surveillance system, used by correctional services globally, to monitor the activities of convicted offenders who have been granted conditional release from incarceration. The process involves attaching an anklet to the offender, whose movements are then observed from a central site.
The electronic, GPS and web-based technology that makes it possible to tag, monitor and track offenders has been available for some time, but only recently in the Caribbean region. A two-year Jamaica electronic monitoring pilot project began in November, 2008 and ended in January, 2009. Dilieu Technology, a company based in Oakland, California USA, was designated the sole Service/Direct Procurement provider for the implementation of the system.
Minister with responsibility for Information, Hon Daryl Vaz, told the Post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House in Kingston on Wednesday (January 13), that instructions have been issued to the Chief Parliamentary Counsel for the drafting of a Bill to allow for legislation for the “implementation, methodologies and systems” for the monitoring of inmates.
He said that comprehensive review of contemporary law enforcement practices have shown that electronic monitoring of offenders is an effective means of relieving overcrowding, and offers effective means of supervision, outside of correctional institutions, while minimising the likelihood of repeated criminal behaviour in the community.

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