“Electronic monitoring is a giant leap forward, and is the solution to various challenges,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery in Tshwane, Gauteng.
Ndebele said the electronic monitoring pilot project was started in March 2012, involving 150 offenders, mostly prisoners serving life terms.
“Electronic monitoring is economical, effective, efficient and relevant to the broader goals of the department [of correctional services] and that of the justice, crime prevention and security cluster,” he said.
“On average, 15 to 20 percent of awaiting-trial detainees are in custody because they cannot afford bail,” he said.
At the moment, it cost the taxpayer R9876 a month to incarcerate an inmate.
“For electronic monitoring, the monthly cost per offender is R3379….”
The bracelet resembled a wristwatch, was waterproof and shock resistant and was generally fitted to the ankle. Attempts to remove it would trigger an alarm.
The department had chosen a two piece GPS tracking system, which integrated tracking, communication and mapping technologies.
It enabled operators to effectively track offenders, virtually anywhere, anytime at varying levels of intensity, said Ndebele.
“A National Control Room is now operational here at our head office. This control room is manned on a 24-hour basis, seven days a week, 365 days per year.”
Ndebele said this type of alternative non-custodial sentencing would place the responsibility for rehabilitation and reintegration on the community and its stakeholders.
“… We urge society, communities and families to work with us in order to derive the desired benefits of public security, managing inmate population, offender reintegration as well as cost reduction,” he said.