AMMAN: Jordan will launch an electronic tag program for some detainees in a bid to reduce prison overcrowding and detention costs.
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.”
In recent remarks to the Petra news agency, Minister of Justice Ahmed Ziadat said that about 1,500 detainees will be freed under the new e-tagging scheme.
The minister said that electronic tagging is an alternative to institutional confinement and that tags will be fixed on detainees placed under home arrest.
A total of 1,500 detainees will be freed under the scheme, Ziadat said.
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 capacity for 5,000 tags.
“The scheme is designed to reduce prison overcrowding and detention costs alongside ensuring that under-trial detainees are held separately from inmates,” he said.
A security source, who requested anonymity, told Arab News that the country’s 16 rehabilitation centers 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 drugs trafficking charges, the source said.