GOVERNOR TRIES ON POSSIBLE TAG FOR PRISONERS

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By admin December 9, 2011 10:16

GOVERNOR TRIES ON POSSIBLE TAG FOR PRISONERS

Governor Alistair Harrison, who has responsibility for the operations of Her Majesty’s Prison in Anguilla, announced on Tuesday that he was considering the possibility of introducing an electronic taggingof prisoners during a period of release.

Prison Adviser, Vince Walker, fitting tag on Governor Harrison
Prison Adviser, Vince Walker, fitting tag on Governor Harrison

The Governor has undertaken to wear a tag for 48 hours to try out the reliability of the electronic monitoring system. He allowed Prison Consultant, Vince Walker, to affix the GPS-traced gadget to one of his ankles, and agreed to be confined to Government House during the testing period. He recalled that his colleague in the British Virgin Islands, where the system is also being introduced, had volunteered to be tagged and monitored for a week.

Mr. Harrison, who noted that the electronic system was functioning well in the United Kingdom and a number of Overseas Territories, said it was a useful alternative to keeping a prisoner in custody. By using it, an offender could be restricted to a particular area; a curfew could be imposed on such a person; and in cases where there was a prisoner with a short time left to serve his or her custodial sentence, that offender could be released on parole and monitored. While an offender wishing to escape might be able to remove the tag, any tampering with it would send off a signal to a central monitoring place – whether the Police Station or the Prison – from where security personnel could trace the offender and take immediate restraining action.

The Governor explained that it would be a voluntary process in which prisoners could choose to wear the tag or, if they chose not, to remain in prison. Responding to a question, he said there were no human rights issues involved.

Mr. Walker, the Prison Consultant, said three volunteers in the community had undertaken to be tagged to help in testing the technology. He was of the view that wearing the electronic monitoring tag, and thereby by being released from custody, was five or six times cheaper than keeping an offender in prison. He thought the device would be of much help in Anguilla to ease the overcrowding at the prison.

Once the monitoring system works satisfactorily, steps will be taken by the Governor’s Office to implement it in Anguilla early next year.

admin
By admin December 9, 2011 10:16

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