Ankle monitor amendments approved by President

Paula-Mae Weekes.
President Paula-Mae Weekes.

ELECTRONIC monitoring of prisoners may soon happen as amendments to the 2012 Administration of Justice (Electric Monitoring) Act has been proclaimed.

The changes now allow the courts to use electronic monitoring devices as a condition of bail, probation or community service.

President Paula-Mae Weekes proclaimed the amendments to the act on September 18, bringing them into operation.

Tenders went out in May for the supply, delivery commissioning and maintenance of electronic monitoring solutions. Efforts to reach Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi were futile on Sunday.

Three new clauses were inserted in section 10. That section says the courts may impose a sentence of electronic monitoring for an offence committed, or in lieu of a sentence, or part of a sentence of imprisonment. The court can now use electronic monitoring as a condition for bail or part of a protection order under the Domestic Violence Act, It now enables the court to ask people who apply for protection orders, if they consent to being fitted with a protection device, and if they consent, they will have to complete a form indicating they understand the purpose of the device and accept responsibility for its use and care. In April, Al-Rawi said perpetrators of domestic violence would be required to wear a monitoring device as well as victims, once there is an accepted application by the victim. If the offender should come within a certain proximity of the victim, both parties, as well as law enforcement would be notified, Al-Rawi said. “That will be managed by an electronic system. There’s a team of people that the Minister of National Security has put into place for this, it’s going to be rolled out in an initial and then in a further stage,” he explained.

Rules were also set out by Legal Notice 325, issued on September 21, to give guidelines to the Judiciary on the best practices for the application of the Electronic Monitoring Act, in criminal cases, domestic violence cases and under rules for family proceedings and rules in the Children’s Court.

The rules explains when determining whether or not to make an electronic monitoring order, there are several things the Ccurt must consider, including the nature of the offence, the safety of the people affected by the proceedings, the financial capabilities and mental health of the intended monitored person and the nature of the premises on which the monitored person resides.

However, once an application is made, the court must deal with the application immediately, or determine whether or not the person should be remanded into custody pending the determination of the application.


"Ankle monitor amendments approved by President"

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