England is trying out a system of satellite monitoring of repeat offenders and pedophiles, tracking their dead asses as they go about their felonious affairs; well actually hoping to prevent further felonious affairs. While the civil libertarian in us may feel the impulse to leap up and cry “invasion of privacy,” the program allows criminals to get out of prison early or avoid it entirely with an eye toward rehabilitation. NO rights groups are complaining.
- Convicted burglars, robbers and car thieves will be fitted with an electronic device that can be tracked by satellite 24 hours a day.
The trials are in Greater Manchester, West Midlands and Hampshire.
The electronic device will be monitored by a control station which records the location of the offender to within a few metres.
If the offender strays into an area they are excluded from the police are alerted.
The system will also be used to prevent sex offenders going to playgrounds and schools and to stop people convicted of domestic violence from approaching their victims.
Offenders will be required to wear the device as part of a community sentence, or as a condition of their release from prison.
Initially, the system will be used to track up to 120 offenders at any one time, but if the technology works, the Home Office will massively expand it in England and Wales.
Home Secretary David Blunkett launched the trials in Greater Manchester on Thursday.
He calls the scheme a “prison without bars”.
Speaking at the launch, he said the system would help to ensure offenders are “sticking to the conditions of their licence and staying away from crime”.
He said: “Our sentencing reforms were not just about being tougher on the most serious offenders.
“This technology will allow us to develop and promote the tough community sentences which are vital if we are to prevent re-offending and give non-violent offenders a chance to serve an effective sentence in the community.”
….Ex-prisoners’ campaign group Unlock favours the tagging system as an alternative to jailing offenders.
Unlock’s chief executive Bobby Cummines said: “I welcome this with open arms.
“I welcome anything where we can monitor people in the community instead of throwing them into prison.”
Mr Cummines said tagging systems allow families to stay together, which is the key to rehabilitation.
Human rights group Liberty also said they had “no major complaints” with the system. [BBC]
I sincerely hope the US penal system takes a hard look at this because at the rate we are going there will be more people in prison than out.