Electronic monitoring a ‘game changer’ in crime fighting
THE MINISTRY of National Security and the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) are attempting once more to successfully implement electronic monitoring of lowrisk and repeat offenders along with bail applicants.
Minister of National Security Robert Montague said during a press briefing yesterday that submissions would be made to Cabinet to amend certain parliamentary acts to encapsulate and give protection to electronic monitoring.
The culprits are to be tagged with an ankle alloy bracelet equipped with a battery and confined to a specific geographic area (geofencing). Once the confinement is breached, it’s registered in the virtual system and the accused is retrieved and taken back to prison.
He stated that talks are currently ongoing with four vendors to supply the required technology, while adding that the ministry has already signed with two, with the potential of more options.
Montague also conveyed that the family members of the offenders would foot the bill associated with such a move so that taxpayers might not feel the sting of it. If family members refuse to pay, then the inmate remains incarcerated.
A pilot project is to be undertaken for inmates with six months or less remaining on their sentence or those not considered high risk to the public.
REINTEGRATE WITH FAMILY
Speaking with The Gleaner about the effectiveness if brought to fruition Commissioner of Corrections Ina Hunter said: “It’s going to be effective as you are looking at releasing offenders before their actual release date. This allows them to reintegrate with family quicker as they tell you when behind bars, they worry about the family, especially children.”
She further added: “Ninety-six per cent of the prison population is males, which shows that the fathers aren’t in the home.” Olivia Grange (left), minister of culture, gender, entertainment and sports, speaks about gender affairs with Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry (centre) and Alison McLean, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, during yesterday’s launch of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, held at the Office of the Prime Minister in St Andrew.
We have some deep-seated social issues which act as a constraint. We have to confront it. The use of violence in our society has to go,” he said.
“We are not going to in any way change the course that they (human rights watchdogs) are on in terms of the maintenance of human rights. Though crime is a challenge, our response will not be with more violence. Law and order, decency, and respect for our citizens will overcome criminality,” he declared.
Also speaking on the advantages of the proposal, Montague told The Gleaner: “The overburdened taxpayer will be spared additional taxes. The offender will remain in the family structure while serving the time and repaying their debt to society, which reduces the prison population.”
He also added: “It will be that important third witness. For example, there is a breach of a protection order, there will be no need for eyewitness reliability as the technology will say you were in this place, at this time”.
Montague labelled the move a ‘game changer’ in combating crime. THE ELECTORAL Commission of Jamaica (ECJ) yesterday indicated that 4,837 electors in 16 polling divisions will no longer be able to vote in the Portmore mayoral election following a court decision handed down this week.
The Supreme Court ruled that the mayoral election for the Portmore municipality could not be held on the gazetted boundaries of 2015.
Instead, the election must be held on the 2003 boundaries.
The affected electoral divisions are Greater Portmore North in St Catherine Southern and Portmore Pines in St Catherine East Central.
As a result of the change, the 4,837 voters in these divisions will be issued with a single ballot on election day to vote for a councillor.
The remaining 93,054 electors will be given two ballots: one to vote for the councillor and the other to vote for the mayor of Portmore.
Boundaries ruling bars 4,837 electors from Portmore mayoral poll
The ECJ said that with the change, it would no longer need a number of poll clerks for the municipal election.
They would have each been paid $6,500.
The ECJ also said that it cost $44,000 to print the ballots for the 4,837 electors who will no longer be allowed to vote in the mayoral election.
Conroy Thompson (right), training manager at Half Moon, and Arlien Dyer, assistant director of sales, receive the Best Eco/Sustainable Resort award from managing director of The Gleaner, Christopher Barnes.