Bracelets to monitor parolees

By Drum Digital
12 November 2013

Parolees, people out on bail and those awaiting trial are being monitored using ankle bracelets

, Correctional Services Minister Sbu Ndebele announced on Monday.

"Electronic monitoring is a giant leap forward, and is the solution to various challenges," he said in Tshwane, Gauteng.

Ndebele said the electronic monitoring pilot project was started in March 2012, involving 150 offenders, mostly prisoners serving life terms.

"Electronic monitoring is economical, effective, efficient and relevant to the broader goals of the department [of correctional services] and that of the justice, crime prevention and security cluster," he said.

"On average, 15% to 20% of awaiting-trial detainees are in custody because they cannot afford bail," he said.

At the moment, it cost the taxpayer R9 876 a month to incarcerate an inmate.

"For electronic monitoring, the monthly cost per offender is R3 379..."

The bracelet resembled a wristwatch, was waterproof and shock resistant and was generally fitted to the ankle.

Attempts to remove it would trigger an alarm.

The department had chosen a two piece GPS tracking system, which integrated tracking, communication and mapping technologies.

It enabled operators to effectively track offenders, virtually anywhere, anytime at varying levels of intensity, said Ndebele

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