Justice Minister backs modern alternative methods of detention - electronic monitoring

The socio-economic advantages, particularities and legal aspects of the application of electronic monitoring in the field of probation were the main topics in public discussion organized by the Ministry of Justice and the National Probation Inspectorate (INP).

Judicial decision-makers, judges, prosecutors, police officers, representatives of non-commercial organizations and INP have analyzed the viability of widespread use of electronic monitoring. This is a form of remote surveillance by probation workers of persons placed under house arrest, released conditionally by criminal punishment, convicted with partial suspension of the execution of the punishment or for which postponement of punishment related to pregnancy or or raising children under 8 years of age. Today's public debates have generated a number of answers to questions from actors in the justice sector, as well as suggestions for INP.

By using GPS/GPRS systems and applying a special bracelet to hand or leg of monitored person, it can be set as permissible areas for travel, periods of time when they are forbidden to leave their home, proximity to the victim's home, prohibitions to visit recreational places, ect.

The application of the bracelet shall be carried out at the court's discretion and, at the request of the prosecutors, on the basis of the Execution Code, the law on probation, the Governmental decree on electronic monitoring, and the recommendations of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

The rationale for the application of this form of supervision in place of detention is a series of advantages, namely: reduced costs incurred by the state (8 lei per day compared to 242 lei in the penitentiary), the certainty that the monitored person is located and can be forced if necessary , reducing the prison population, excluding the negative effects of detention, preventing recidivism and increasing the level of security in society. Also by electronic monitoring it is possible for the supervised persons to continue their studies, to keep their jobs, to maintain their children and to be in the family circle.

We mention that there are 42 probation offices in the country, and the INP is responsible for supervising how people monitored meet their obligations and managing probation programs for people on file. The flow of people in the probation system last year was 20 thousand people, and electronically monitored were 50 of them. This year, electronic bracelets were applied to 59 people. According to INP data, in Poland, for example, about 30 thousand people are monitored electronically annually, in Latvia - over 150, in Ukraine - over 200.

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