In a letter in today's Guardian, tagging expert Mike Nellis calls for the 'over-complex, outsourced infrastructure set in place to manage the mass expansion of GPS tracking' to be dismantled', to be replaced by 'a modest and sensible use of tagging.. properly integrated into a restored, publicly owned probation service, as it mostly is in mainland Europe'.
Last week we held a symposium on the future of electronic monitoring of those under a criminal justice sanction in England and Wales. The symposium heard from Dr Hannah Graham, from the University of Stirling and Professor Mike Nellis, from the University of Strathclyde.
Dr Graham spoke about the Scottish experience of electronic monitoring, as well as international evidence on impact and effectiveness. Professor Nellis spoke about how electronic monitoring might be used, and about the risks of its inappropriate use.
Mike Nellis assesses the latest developments in the electronic monitoring fiasco and asks where future policy is headed
Professor Mike Nellis scrutinises the chaotic attempts by the Ministry of Justice to commission a new generation of satellite-enabled tags for monitoring those under a criminal sanction in England and Wales
The Ministry of Justice should consult widely and transparently with public sector, private sector and civil society organisations on plans to electronically monitor those under a criminal sanction, if it is to avoid the waste and chaos that characterised attempts to develop a new satellite-enabled GPS tag. Parliament should also investigate the 'vast waste of time, energy and money' expended by the Ministry of Justice as its unrealistic programme lurched from one crisis to another.
Our Director, Richard Garside, today called on the Ministry of Justice to scrap its 'vanity project' GPS tagging programme, and focus its energies on more pressing problems, such as the prisons and probation crises.
His call came in response to a damning National Audit Office report on the new generation electronic monitoring programme.
Among the report's findings were that the programme was:
Our director Richard Garside is quoted in a Guardian story this morning over the award of a £25m tagging contract to the controversial private security company, G4S.
Under the contract, the company will supply equipment for the new generation of GPS tags to monitor the movements of convicted offenders.
G4S is currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into allegations that it overcharged on a previous monitoring contract.
Criminal justice reformers should be influencing the development of electronic monitoring, argues Professor Mike Nellis, rather than leaving it to right-leaning think tanks
The Centre's director, Richard Garside, said today that the Ministry of Justice should halt plans to commission off-the-shelve satellite tagging technology.
His comments follow yesterday's announcement that the Ministry was shelving its controversial programme to develop a bespoke satellite tagging programme.
A report published by the US-based, Centre for Media Justice, has highlighted concerns about the rush to deploy electronic monitoring (EM) equipment as an alternative to imprisonment.