THE FIRST Slovaks sentenced to house arrest may begin wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet as of 2016, based on an agreement signed between the Justice Ministry and company ICZ Slovakia, the winner of the public procurement. The project is worth €22.04 million without VAT and will be financed through EU structural funds, the SITA newswire reported on April 28.

The electronic bracelets should reduce the amount of money spent on keeping people in prison, which currently stands at about €14,000 a year per inmate.

“The sentenced will be with their families; the family relations will not decay,” Justice Minister Tomáš Borec said, as quoted by SITA, when talking about the benefits of house arrest. He also said that the sentenced will be able to keep his or her job and thus continue to earn money for the family and stay socialised.

The Justice Ministry assumes that about 2,000 people will participate in the programme. In addition to prison inmates, electronic bracelets will also be used to prevent hooligans from entering sports stadiums, and to warn domestic violence victims that an aggressor is in the vicinity. Some devices may also perform remote breathalyser tests and scan the face of the wearer to confirm his or her identity, SITA wrote.

Martin Terkovič, head of ICZ Slovakia, said that the bracelets will be used only for monitoring. It is not a kind of system people see in sci-fi films where something horrible happens to people who cross a defined boundary, he explained to SITA. Wearers of the bracelets who violate the rules will be subject to mediation or probation.

The company intends to establish four operating dispatch centres with non-stop service to control the system. They will be connected to the police, as reported by SITA.

In the first five years since house arrests became legal, only 169 people have been sentenced to in such a way, even though 1,050 people met the criteria, SITA wrote.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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