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.
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.
Craig Paterson questions whether the momentum can be tamed
Marietta Martinovic highlights the fate of home detention in the state of Victoria
Ella Holdsworth and Anthea Hucklesbury point at the gender gap when coping with electronic monitoring
Delphine Vanhaelemeesch reports on the Belgian model
In Belgium, EM-supervision was extended to the national level in 2000 and received an explicit legal base in the 17 May 2006 Act on the External Legal Position of Prisoners. Over time there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of people being subjected to EM in Belgium.
Nuno Caiado explores 24-hour confinement
Silke Eilzer explains the cautious approach and insists in the centrality of data protection