Electronic tagging of individuals sentenced to jail phrases of not a couple of 12 months for minor crimes is being thought of by authorities, MaltaRight this moment has learnt.
Legislation is being drafted that can permit magistrates to determine whether or not an individual handed down an efficient jail time period ought to serve time outdoors jail. The legislation might be offered to parliament as early as subsequent month.
The system is being seen as a method to assist rehabilitation however additionally it is anticipated to ease some of the stress from the jail facility, which has an issue of overpopulation.
Electronic monitoring will solely be accessible to these convicted of crimes punishable by efficient imprisonment of not a couple of 12 months, supplied the offence dedicated doesn’t carry a most jail sentence of two years, authorities sources mentioned.
This robotically excludes individuals convicted over severe offences corresponding to home violence, who won’t be eligible to profit from an digital monitoring order. Bail can be “strictly excluded” from the proposal, the sources added.
But digital tagging is predicted to be launched at legislation for inmates eligible for jail go away and parole, permitting the Correctional Services Agency to higher monitor their whereabouts.
“Electronic tagging will give the community greater peace of mind for cases that involve inmates who are already eligible for prison leave and parole but it will also stop people convicted of minor crimes from stepping into the Correctional Facility, facilitating their reintegration into society,” the sources mentioned.
The distant monitoring expertise has been utilized by the Correctional Services Agency over the previous year-and-a-half in a pilot venture. In December 2019, eight low-risk prisoners had been tagged and granted jail go away to spend Christmas with their households within the first experiment with the system.
However, now, tagging will be grounded at legislation and also will function a substitute to jail for some crimes.
An digital ankle band will permit the authorities to know the place the individual is on a 24/7 foundation. The system robotically raises the alarm if the person breaks any geographical limitations imposed on them.
“We have had cases of people found guilty of a minor crime and sentenced to six months in prison and in the process losing their job or missing their studies. In this way, these individuals will still be able to function in society with the community having peace of mind that the authorities can track their every movement,” the sources mentioned.
Anybody who breaches the circumstances imposed by the digital monitoring order will serve the unique jail time period and some other further penalty imposed by the courtroom.
Electronic tagging has lengthy been mooted in judicial and penal circles as a method to alleviate the burden on the jail facility.
The Corradino Correctional Facility had a inhabitants of 864 by the tip of December 2020, together with 56 feminine inmates, data tabled in parliament confirmed. Almost a 3rd of inmates had been nonetheless awaiting trial or sentencing.
The general European imprisonment price – the number of individuals in jail per 100,000 inhabitants – fell once more barely in 2020, consolidating a pattern that began in 2013, in accordance to the Council of Europe’s Annual Penal Statistics on Prison Populations for 2020.
But Malta had the best development price in incarceration between 2019 and 2020 (15.2% enhance), adopted by Cyprus (13.1%), Iceland (11.7%) and Croatia (10.three%).
Malta was additionally inside the high 5 of nations with the best proportions of overseas inmates: Luxembourg (73.9%), Switzerland (69.6%), Greece (57.eight%), Austria (53.1%), Malta (51.5%), adopted by Catalonia in Spain (46%), Belgium (43%), Estonia (33.three%), Italy (32.5%), Denmark (30.1%) and Norway (29.2%).
Malta has 25.2% of its prisoners convicted for drug-related offences. The highest charges had been in Latvia (44.2%), Iceland (34.6%), Italy (31.5%), Greece (29.four%), Azerbaijan (29%), Albania (27.9%), Cyprus (27.three %), Georgia (26.2%), Estonia (25.eight%), Turkey (25.eight%) and Malta (25.2%).