Tagging pilot scheme: 3 back in prison

2012-11-23 00:00

IN the six months since its inception, three parolees who benefited from the year-long electronic tagging pilot scheme have been sent back to prison.

This after the three, one from KwaZulu-Natal and the other two from the Eastern Cape, continuously tampered with the GPS devices.

The R6,5 million pilot project in the form of a set of GPS tracking devices to keep track of parolees was officially launched at New Prison in Pietermaritzburg this week.

The set consists of a waterproof wristwatch-like bracelet and a cellphone/pager-like device.

The bracelet remains on the parolee’s wrist until the end of his prescribed supervision period, and he may not tamper with it in any way.

Since its inception, the pilot has seen 27 life-sentenced prisoners from KZN, who have since been granted parole, being monitored using this method.

Pumla Matibeka, the department’s chief deputy commissioner: social integration, said the initial plan was to tag 150 life-sentenced parolees around the country, but they had tagged only 119, 27 of whom are from KZN. She said this was part of the department’s efforts to increase its capacity to monitor parolees.

“Life-sentenced offenders have been in our centres for a long time. They’ve been in a controlled environment so we decided to come up with this idea of releasing them into their communities while closely monitoring them using this system. However, we have since sent three back to prison for continuously tampering with the device, despite several warnings,” said Matibeka.

She said at the end of the pilot next May, if the results were positive, a full-scale roll-out would be implemented.

“We have decided not only to experiment with life-sentenced offenders only, but to also look at others who were serving long-term sentences.”

Once the battery runs low, the gadgets give a beeping sound, alerting the parolee to charge the device. Some parolees ignore the signal.

A solar charger is provided on request to those who don’t have electricity.

Matibeka said some parolees have thrown the gadgets into rivers “but again, a signal is sent to the office with the gadget indicating its current location”.

DA correctional services shadow minister James Selfe said the tagging, with strict measures in place to deal with parolees who tamper with the devices, was an excellent idea.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.