Canada’s paroled offenders to be monitored through GPS

August 12th, 2008 - 1:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Aug 12 (IANS) Canada will electronically monitor the movement of criminals who have been paroled to ensure that they don’t violate their release conditions. Making this announcement here Monday, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said a one-year pilot project will be launched from next month to monitor about 30 criminals under federal laws on parole in the province on Ontario. Depending on its success, the monitoring system could be extended to other provinces and territories, the minister said.

“This initiative will better protect communities and provide an additional tool for the Correctional Service of Canada (called jail authorities in India) and police to prevent crime,” Day said

“Our government is determined to ensure that those offenders who are released by the National Parole Board into the community are more effectively monitored.

“We have listened to police and victims groups who have been requesting such a tool for years. Compelling offenders to abide by the conditions of their release is a key aspect of our reform of Canada’s prison system.”

The electronic monitoring system will function by having an offender wear an ankle bracelet with a global positioning system (GPS) receiver that reports its position to a monitoring network.

The jail authorities will be alerted whenever an offender violates conditions such as curfews, residency or location restrictions.

Following an alert, appropriate action will be taken and the police may be called as required.

A government statement said electronic monitoring will help in “quickly detecting any violations of certain types of release conditions, compelling offenders to abide by the terms of their release, and increasing safety for parole officers conducting late night checks of offenders under imposed curfews.”

The authorities have entered into an agreement with the Nova Scotia government, which will provide support and advice based on their experience with this technology.

Nova Scotia province was the first in Canada to start using GPS technology in 2006 to monitor offenders.

Banking on its experience, the federal jail authorities have entered into an agreement with the province to provide support and advice on the project.

The pilot project is one of the few initiatives the Canadian government has mounted to check the crime rate.

Earlier this year, the government brought into force the Tackling Violent Crime Act to hand down tougher sentences to offenders.

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