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GPS electronic monitoring consultation: potential for young offenders highlighted by media

2014 February 12
by Mary Munro

Mike Nellis SJM article on EMUpdate

“Domestic abuse victims to get GPS exclusion zones” Scotsman
“Police call for GPS tracking devices to be introduced in bid to keep domestic abusers away from their victims” Daily Record

Following posted on 14.1.14

“Expert calls for improved tagging” Herald

“‘Don’t jail young offenders, tag them’ says expert” Scotsman
“Young offenders ‘should be put on electronic tag instead of prison'” STV

Following posted on 24.9.13

“Plan to satellite track sex offenders in Scotland” Scotsman
“Ministers consider options to extend offender remote monitoring” Law Society Journal Online
“Satellites could track sex beasts” Scottish Express
“Paedophiles set to be tracked with GPS” Herald
“Movements of sex offenders may by tracked by GPS tags” BBC

Following posted on 5.6.13

“Changing tag: imminent consultation on electronic monitoring gets debate going”

Following posted on 20.5.13

“Tagging must pass crucial tests” Herald
“Move to offer criminals tag option instead of prison is ruled out” Herald
“Choice of prison or tagging raised at First Minister’s Questions” Courier
“Monitoring new ideas in offender management (Mike Nellis)” Scotsman


Also: Mike Nellis’s blog: new directions and interesting times in electronic monitoring

Following posted on 13.5.13

“Case for electronic tags to reduce offending rates” Herald

Press releases

“Satellite tracking of offenders” Scot. Gov. (September 2013)

See also

Asking the Right Questions: The Scottish Electronic Monitoring Consulatation. Mike Nellis. Scottish Justice Matters (November 2013)

Development of Electronic Monitoring in Scotland: A Consultation on the Future Direction of the Electronic Monitoring Service (Scot.Gov. September 2013)

Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP):

4. To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s position is on the use of electronic tagging of offenders as an alternative to short-term sentences. (S4F-01377)

The First Minister (Alex Salmond): There is strong evidence that community sentences are an effective alternative to short prison sentences. That is clear, because 58 per cent of offenders who are imprisoned for three months or less are reconvicted within a year, compared with only 24 per cent of those who receive a community sentence.

Electronic monitoring has been used in Scotland since 2002. It continues to play a significant part in offender management. We are consulting this summer on the possible development of the electronic monitoring service to include the satellite tracking of offenders.

Christine Grahame: Is the First Minister aware that, in Sweden, anyone who is given a sentence of six months or less can apply to be tagged at home under house arrest while being monitored? If there is any breach, they are returned to jail. Is he also aware that reoffending has fallen to 12 per cent and that the cost to the taxpayer is some £40 per day, not the £165 per day of a prison place? Given that the success of tagging there over 20 years, with the First Minister consider following the Swedish model?

The First Minister: The Government is always happy to learn about practice in other jurisdictions. In fact, last week, the Government supported and chaired an event at the University of Strathclyde that heard from the head of the Swedish probation service, who outlined how its system operates.

Many of the characteristics of the Swedish system are already in place in Scotland, but the consultation on electronic monitoring this summer will be an opportunity to capture formally any options for improvements. Although we have the lowest crime rate in 37 years, we are always keen to continue to improve whenever we can.” Scottish Parliament Official Report 16.5.13: FMQs

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