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Montague says tagging prisoners will save money

Published:Monday | December 12, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Robert Montague

Minister of National Security Robert Montague has said the project to have certain categories of prisoners serve time outside the penal system and be monitored electronically will save the country significant sums, and aid in the reduction of crime.

Speaking to reporters at the Islington Police Station in St Mary last Wednesday, the minister said low-risk prisoners, persons who have less than six months on their sentences, as well as persons who have restraining orders taken out on them, will benefit from the system.

"It is a means to reduce the prison population and to cut cost. We will be monitoring the prisoners, persons on bail, as well as persons who are on parole," he noted.

The Government already has signed two agreements with suppliers of the bracelets that will be used in the programme, while discussions are taking place with two other suppliers for the pilot project.


Virtual system


The minister explained that persons on the system will be on a virtual system, and if they move outside of the boundaries that they are restricted in, "an alarm will be triggered," and they will be found.

He said the cost to keep a prisoner in an enclosed location is over $800,000, while the cost to monitor them electronically is 60 per cent less, and the "electronic bracelet will be an independent eyewitness.

"It is a new day in crime-fighting in Jamaica. We are breaking new ground, utilising technology in crime-fighting, while allowing persons to be rehabilitated with their families and in their communities," the minister said.