Electronic tagging instead of jail to be introduced for Thai inmates

February 1, 2013
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Thailand will soon introduce electronic monitoring (EM) technology among offenders to relieve overcrowded prisons, according to a leading lawyer.
Ukrit Mongkolnavin, chairman of the Independent National Rule of Law Commission, said the EM programme is part of a range of human rights issues and that EM devices should be applied to inmates with minor offences, political prisoners and economic-related convicts so that they do not need to be physically present in prisons.
The number of inmates in Thai prisons nationwide has exceeded the international standard maximum by four times, Dr Ukrit said, and the introduction of EM technology will not only alleviate crowding in the country’s prisons but also save on the national budget, he said.
Over 50 countries worldwide have introduced EM technology, said Dr Ukrit.
Yanaphon Youngyuen, deputy chief of the Department of Special Investigation, supports the introduction of the electronic monitoring programme and said the devices should be used for first-time offenders or inmates with minor offences.
The ‘monitoring instead of prison’ scheme, approved by the cabinet on Jan 22, will possibly be introduced within one year. The technology is a non-surreptitious surveillance with an electronic device attached to a person or vehicle to continually monitor their specific location.

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