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Defendants Tamper With Ankle Bracelets 7,000 Times

By CELESTE NIXON Tribune Staff Reporter cnixon@tribunemedia.net DEFENDANTS fitted with ankle monitoring bracelets have sought to violate their bail conditions or tamper with the device an average of more than 22 times each. Since the launch of the electronic monitoring programme in December 2010, 315 persons have been fitted with the device, and more than 7,100 "offender alarms" have been recorded, according to a report from ICS Bahamas, the company that facilitated the programme. Most of the offenders, the report said, were attempting to go to night clubs or events outside curfew hours. A small number tried to commit other crimes in the process and were arrested immediately by the police with the assistance of the monitoring centre, pinpointing their exact locations. However, the report noted, on February 10, 2012, the police aided by Electronic Monitoring Centre (EMC) representatives, conducted a 48-hour operation in which 20 offenders were apprehended and brought before the courts for violation of their bail conditions. "Since then there were no further indications of tampering with the devices by offenders," the report said. "The ICS Intervention Monitoring Centre has the ability to immediately determine such an act, should it take place and to respond appropriately, while notifying officials." The programme was launched in response to the high number of repeat offenders and individuals committing offences while on bail. In 2008, the government invited tenders from electronic monitoring services providers to create a system of pre-trial and post-trial supervision and monitoring of low and high risk offenders. The report, which studies the first 14 months of the programme, reported that: * 315 offenders have been through the programme - 230 from New Providence, 73 from Grand Bahama, nine from Abaco, one from San Salvador, one from Eleuthera and 1 from Exuma; * 235 offenders are currently being monitored; * bail was revoked in 10 cases because further crimes were committed, and in an additional seven cases because the terms and conditions were breached; * 60 participants successfully completed the terms and conditions of their bail and were released from the programme; * three died while on the programme; * The youngest person admitted to the programme was 12 years old. The oldest was 62 years old; * five women have been admitted to the programme. Of the 7,100 alarms set off, the report said the offender was made to submit within two minutes in 98 per cent of cases. "The two per cent who did not comply were either arrested or came into compliance a short time thereafter," it said.

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