Colombian prisoners to serve jail terms at home

July 22nd, 2008 - 5:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Bogota, July 22 (IANS) More than 4,000 prisoners lodged in Colombian jails may soon be allowed to serve their terms at home provided they wear for the rest of their years in jail a nondetachable electronic bracelet which would help authorities track their movements. The new system would be implemented starting November as part of an effort to ease the problem of overcrowding in the country’s jails. Prison officials would monitor the prisoners following the signals from their electronic bracelets, EFE news agency said Tuesday.

The system would allow selected prisoners to serve rest of their terms outside prisons, the agency quoted interior and justice minister Fabio Valencia Cossio as saying Monday.

The authorities have not revealed the cost for implementing the new system.

“Prisoners, who are not murderers or have not committed crimes against humanity, and have served a number of years in prison, may be allowed to spend the rest of their prison terms outside the walls,” he said.

Currently, Colombian prisons house 80 percent more inmates than their designed capacities.

The construction of 11 new prisons in the next two years, with a capacity to house 24,000 inmates, is expected to ease the problem of overcrowding, officials said.

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