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N Touch
Tuesday 12 December 2017
Headline News

Electronic monitoring for prisoners

At a glance

- a person violated the protection order

- chairman said test test

- tester said test test

VERNE BURNETT

AN ELECTRONIC monitoring system for prison inmates is expected to be in place by the end of May, according to officials of the Electronic Monitoring System Implementation Committee. They appeared before the fourth public meeting of the Joint Select Committee on National Security yesterday at the J. Hamilton Maurice Room at the Office of the Parliament, Tower D, Port-of-Spain.

Chairman of the Implementation Committee Mark Lutchman, said they expect to have a contract for the purchase of the necessary equipment in place by May 31, along with a manager, deputy manager and a staff of ten. They said that a pilot project will be set up in the St George West Magisterial District using 300 monitoring devices.

However, in response to questions from members of the Parliamentary Committee, the members of the Implementation Committee, which include prison officers, said there are about 2,200 inmates on remand in the prison system but not all would be considered for the programme. They said that in the long term the pilot project would include about 1,500 - 2,000 monitoring devices.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee Fitzgerald Hinds repeatedly urged the Implementation Committee to move speedily to commence the electronic monitoring system, saying the country is far behind as the Administration of Justice (Electronic Monitoring) Act was passed in 2012 and it was now 2017.

Lutchman said that while the act was passed in 2012, the committee was only set up last year and received instruments of appointment on August 5. The Parliamentary Committee heard that the system would help in dealing with domestic violence and the enforcement of protection orders. Ag Snr Supt Radcliffe Boxhill of the Criminal Investigation Department said the devices would also be fitted to persons against whom protection orders have been issued in relation to domestic violence.

He said in the event such a person violated the protection order and went too close to the victim, the device would send a signal to the monitoring centre and it would be possible to direct the nearest police unit to quickly intercept the offender.

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