Jordan is going to launch an electronic tag programme for some detainees to reduce prison overcrowding and detention costs.
Electronic tagging is a form of surveillance that uses an electronic device affixed to a person.
Electronic ankle monitors will be fixed on detainees waiting to receive final court rulings in what the government says is “the first scheme of its kind in the kingdom.”
Minister of Justice Ahmed Ziadat said that “about 1,500 detainees will be freed under the new e-tagging scheme.”
The minister mentioned that digital tagging is another choice for detention and that tags will probably be fixed on detainees who are not arrested for serious crimes.
“The scheme is designed to reduce prison overcrowding and detention costs alongside ensuring that under-trial detainees are held separately from inmates,” he added.
The minister said that electronic tagging is an alternative to institutional confinement and that tags will be fixed on detainees placed under home arrest.
Electronic tagging can be used in combination with the global positioning system (GPS). For short-range monitoring of a person that wears an electronic tag, radio frequency technology is used.
The GPS ankle monitor will send an alert to law enforcement agencies, specifying the whereabouts of a person, if the device has been tampered with or the tagged person goes outside the permissible geographical area.
Authorities have bought 1,500 tags as part of the first phase of the scheme, which has a capacity of 5,000 tags.
A security source, who requested anonymity, told Arab News that the country’s 16 rehabilitation centres hold around 20,000 inmates, with prison occupancy rates exceeding 140 percent.
The monthly cost for each prisoner is around 700 Jordanian dinars ($1,000), with most inmates held on financial and illicit drug trafficking charges, the source said.
In some jurisdictions, an electronic tag fitted above the ankle is used for people as part of their bail or probation conditions. It is also used in healthcare settings and immigration contexts.