Tag­ging of sex of­fend­ers is wel­come

Bray People - - COMMENT - DEB­O­RAH COLE­MAN

IT’S EX­PECTED that the Min­is­ter for Jus­tice Alan Shat­ter will move to in­tro­duce leg­is­la­tion to have con­victed sex of­fend­ers elec­tron­i­cally tagged upon their re­lease from prison. I think this is the most sen­si­ble of moves and wel­come it whole­heart­edly. It would cer­tainly make it eas­ier for Gar­daí to keep tabs on th­ese of­fend­ers who more of­ten than not are still a real risk to so­ci­ety.

A spell in prison won’t ‘cure’ a per­son who has car­ried out ob­scene sex­ual crimes and re­gard­less of the fact that they have served their time the safety of the pub­lic can­not be taken lightly.

Elec­tronic tag­ging would al­low them to rein­te­grate into so­ci­ety while serv­ing as a real de­ter­rent when it comes to re-of­fend­ing.

An on­line sur­vey I looked at shocked me how­ever when 51 per cent of par­tic­i­pants said they are not in favour of hav­ing th­ese peo­ple tagged.

They were, how­ever in favour of hav­ing them mon­i­tored in some man­ner but how is un­clear.

How ex­actly are the au­thor­i­ties sup­posed to be able to keep track of each and ev­ery re­leased sex of­fender as the num­bers in­crease with ev­ery pass­ing year? There would be lit­tle man­power left for any­thing else.

Tag­ging would al­low those se­ri­ous about re­form­ing them­selves to do so and as long as they keep out of trou­ble it shouldn’t mat­ter. It would be a small price to pay for free­dom again, a lux­ury their vic­tims are de­nied once a vi­o­lated by sex­ual as­sault.

At present our prisons are burst­ing at the seams and we reg­u­larly learn of crim­i­nals be­ing re­leased ahead of sched­ule due to over­crowd­ing.

Tag­ging makes per­fect sense in th­ese cir­cum­stances so that those con­victed of such se­ri­ous crimes are not given a free pass back into the world.

There are those who will bleat about the in­jus­tice of such a sys­tem where a per­son has served their time but the do-good­ers can’t deny the fact that the thoughts of liv­ing close to a known of­fender would strike fear into the most level headed of peo­ple.

Fig­ures re­leased from the CSO out­lined that 18 reg­is­tered sex of­fend­ers breached their re­lease con­di­tions by fail­ing to tell Gar- daí their ad­dresses so if that doesn’t re­in­force the need for tag­ging then what does?

When a per­son car­ries out such a crime their for­feit the right to be trusted as they once were. They prove them­selves to be a dan­ger to oth­ers and so­ci­ety must do ev­ery­thing in its power to re­duce this dan­ger.

Plac­ing elec­tronic tags such as the one above of sex­ual of­fend­ers would al­low th­ese of­fend­ers to rein­te­grate into so­ci­ety while serv­ing as a real de­ter­rent when it comes to re­of­fend­ing.

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