Elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing a ‘game changer’ in crime fight­ing

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Syranno Baines Gleaner Writer jodi-ann.gilpin@glean­erjm.com syranno.baines@glean­erjm.com

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.


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.


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