Electronic Tagging – perspectives from around the globe

Kyla Herrmannsen
electronic tagging

Minister of Correctional Services, Sibusiso Ndebele, has recently launched a new programme designed to innovatively address overcrowding in South African prisons.

His programme, adapted from a Brazilian project, aims to reduce prison overcrowding through the electronic tagging of parolees.

Small electronic tags, fitted to the wrist (like a wrist watch) or around the ankle, send a constant signal to a control room manned by Department of Correctional Services officials. Using technology similar to Google Earth, the officials can then track the movement of parolees to make sure they are not violating their individual parole conditions.

For those in rural areas, the electronic devices are fitted with solar panels so that they can re-charge without the use of electricity.

DCS is hoping the introduction of electronic tagging will eventually reduce the prison population by a third.

Read more about electronic tagging in ‘Big Brother is watching’, an article about the pilot study by our senior journalist, Carolyn Raphaely

More on electronic tagging from around the world:

Malta: Electronic tagging instead of jail

Australia: Electronic monitoring in the criminal justice system

UK: Convicted Tagging in turmoil as reoffending rates rise 400%

Jamaica: Low risk prisoners to be tagged

US: US offenders unmonitored as tagging system fails

Malaysia: Tagging ex-cons a violation of human rights

Trinidad: Electronic tags will cut prison numbers

Ireland: 10 Irish prisoners tagged and released early

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About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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