Probation Department’s rented EMs for paroled prisoners are useless

The electronic monitoring (EM) bracelets, rented from a private company by the Department of Probation to keep track of prisoners on parole, have been found to be ineffective.

Deputy justice permanent secretary Thawatchai Khaikhaeo and the spokesman of the Justice Ministry told a media conference Monday that the investigating committee, set up on August 9th to probe the Chinese-made bracelets, completed its investigation last Friday.

The committee ruled the EM bracelets useless, because the devices could be easily removed from the wrist, without the need to cut the strap, and returned to the wrist just as easily.

Some of the paroled prisoners were found to be allergic to the bracelets, which allegedly caused itchy or infected rashes on their arms. The probe team noted that this fails to meet the terms of reference because the devices must be approved by a reliable institution to ensure that they are safe and will not cause an allergic reaction.

Additionally, the electronic system inside the bracelets did not function properly, giving out false broken device alerts between 10,000-100,000 times a month, or emitted no signal at all.

Mr. Thawatchai said the Department of Probation will be notified of the committee’s findings and ordered to contact the supplier, Fort Corporation, to fix the problems.

Probation Department director-general Mr. Prasarn Mahaleetrakul said the department asked the company on August 15th to replace the malfunctioning devices or face a fine of 500 baht per unit per day.



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