Se­cu­rity min­istry launches elec­tronic tags for in­mates

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE -

Min­is­ter of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Robert Mon­tague (cen­tre) with Tech­ni­cal Di­rec­tor of Con­trolled Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Cap­tain John Ulett (left), and Group Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Guards­man Vi­nay Walia at the launch of the E-tag­ging Pi­lot Project.

THE MIN­ISTRY of Na­tional Se­cu­rity has launched a pi­lot project for the elec­tronic tag­ging of in­mates. The project is be­ing con­ducted to as­sess the use of elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing de­vices for low-risk of­fend­ers, and to move to­wards fully in­te­grat­ing these de­vices into the cus­to­dial process.

Speak­ing at the sign­ing cer­e­mony last Thurs­day at the min­istry’s head of­fice, Min­is­ter of Na­tional Se­cu­rity Robert Mon­tague said the de­ci­sion to im­ple­ment elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing of lowrisk of­fend­ers in lieu of in­car­cer­a­tion is an im­por­tant part of the cur­rent re­form of the cor­rec­tional ser­vices.

He said the ini­tia­tive will al­low low-risk of­fend­ers to serve their sen­tences within their com­mu­ni­ties with De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices su­per­vi­sion, and ac­cess to re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion sup­port.

GAME CHANGER

“The launch of this elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing pi­lot project is a very his­toric mo­ment for us at the min­istry. It is a game changer. This is one of the ways we will move for­ward and treat with some of the sys­temic prob­lems in our cor­rec­tional ser­vices so that we can con­tinue to im­prove the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tive en­vi­ron­ment,” he noted.

Ac­cord­ing to Mon­tague, the pi­lot pro­gramme for elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing of lowrisk of­fend­ers will al­low the min­istry to closely as­sess the ser­vices of sev­eral providers who have in­di­cated a will­ing­ness to demon­strate their sys­tem.

Four com­pa­nies, lo­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally, have in­di­cated an in­ter­est in the pi­lot – Con­trolled Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Lim­ited, Guards­man Lim­ited, Se­cu­rity Cen­tral In­ter­na­tional (Cay­man) and Com­pre­hen­sive Se­cu­rity So­lu­tions (Bar­ba­dos). Con­trolled Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Guards­man have al­ready be­gun the process to com­mence their three-month demon­stra­tion with a sep­a­rate set of se­lected Mon­tague: This is one of the ways we will move for­ward and treat with some of the sys­temic prob­lems in our cor­rec­tional ser­vices.

par­tic­i­pants from the De­part­ment of Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices.

The sup­pli­ers will demon­strate their ser­vices at no cost to the Gov­ern­ment for a three-month pi­lot pe­riod, and will be do­ing so with no guar­an­tee that their ser­vices will be used af­ter the pi­lot. Mon­tague said the plan is to have the cost of elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing for in­mates borne by their fam­i­lies.

The launch of the pi­lot project is a part of the on­go­ing re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion re­form process. An agree­ment has also been signed with the Col­lege of Agri­cul­ture, Sci­ence and Ed­u­ca­tion so that cor­rec­tional in­sti­tu­tions that do not have ad­e­quate farm­lands can en­gage in hy­dro­pon­ics.

“This is part of a wider ef­fort to im­prove the cor­rec­tional sys­tem as we con­tinue our drive to mod­ernise our se­cu­rity in­fra­struc­ture and achieve sus­tain­able re­duc­tions in the level of crime in Ja­maica,” the min­is­ter stated.

CON­TRIB­UTED

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