Young lawbreakers get ankle/wrist monitors

Youths violating the Land Traffic Act would be the first group to be spared prison time under a government plan to use electronic monitoring devices such as wrist and ankle bracelets to track them.

The Justice Ministry yesterday launched a pilot project to use 200 sets of electronic monitoring devices. These sets, to be used from this month through February, would be applied to youths who violated the Land Traffic Act in Bangkok and nearby provinces, Department of Probation director-general Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol said during a demonstration. They will be attached to the offenders 24 hours a day.

The department must get a court's permission for their use and ask the offenders whether they want to be attached to them or not.

Once the device is attached, it will send signals to a control centre, keeping officials informed of whether the person has violated detention conditions. If the device is destroyed or the inmate breaks its conditions, the device would notify an official's mobile phone or e-mail. The official would then ask a court if the prisoner should remain under the system.