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Early Conditional Release with Electronic Tagging Plans Sped Up

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Wednesday 08 April 2020

Coronavirus has seen the Committee for Home Affairs and Guernsey Prison speed up plans to introduce electronic tagging for prisoners on early conditional release.

The plan had been due to come into existence later this year, but as part of contingency plans drawn up to deal with the pandemic, that timeline has been brought forward.

Deputy Mary Lowe, President of Home Affairs said:

"The Committee has been pleased to be able to move swiftly to create these regulations earlier than had previously been planned to allow the use of electronic tagging of prisoners in certain circumstances."

Acting Prison Governor John de Carteret said:

"Given the fast evolving and ever changing situation with regard to Coronavirus, it seemed prudent to review the timeline associated with this plan. I want to stress there are currently no plans for the early conditional release of prisoners, but it would be irresponsible for us not to have the appropriate mechanisms in place should these contingencies need to be implemented."

Factors such as the type of crime committed, whether the release would have a disproportionate impact on victims, any court restraining orders and the need to ensure any release of a prisoners would not undermine public confidence in the administration of justice will also form part of the consideration.

Mr de Carteret added:

"I want to assure the public the prison would never compromise its role in providing public protection whenever it considers any form of release on licence for prisoners. We have a robust system of monitoring already in place for when prisoners are on day release. We firmly believe the technology and safeguards in place mean we can safely introduce this widely used tagging system and if conditions were breached by anyone, they would be returned to the prison."

"I want to thank the agencies we have worked with during this project who have all allowed us to be in a position to launch it earlier in the year than we had envisioned."

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