Electronic monitoring hits Thailand

March 24, 2013
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The Ministry of Justice has introduced the use of electronic monitoring of offenders, bringing the country’s criminal justice system into line with many first world countries, Post Today newspaper’s website reported on Sunday.

The ministry’s new regulation became law after it was published in the Royal Gazette on Friday, Post Today said.

The law was introduced after amendments to Section 89/2 of the 2007 Criminal Procedure Code which stipulates that the courts must find alternatives to custody to ensure that offenders remain in a designated place or do not enter proscribed areas by using electronic monitoring devices such as wrist bracelets and ankle bracelets. The bracelets allow authorities to continuously track them.

Prison chiefs and wardens authorised under the regulation can seek permission from the court to place an offender under an electronic monitoring programme. They are required to consider the following criteria before deciding to lodge a petition with the court:

1. Offenders who may die if incarcerated;

2. Offenders who must take care of parents, husband, wife or children who are dependant upon them;

3. Offenders who are sick and in need of continuous treatment;

4. Offenders who deserve mitigation and other means of custody.

Electronic monitoring, commonly known as “tagging”, was introduced in the 1980s in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and later in many other parts of the world in an effort to reduce prison populations. The most common forms of electronic monitoring are wrist bracelets and ankle bracelets.

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