The ankle monitor system – also known as an ankle bracelet – for detainees and convicts, including those given life sentences, is being proposed for Greece, under a draft law given at a public consultation by the Greek Minister of Justice Anthonis Roupakiotis.
The public can continue to give its view until March 11 and then the bill will be given for voting at the Greek Parliament. With the new regulations, the leadership in the Ministry of Justice hopes to be able to free prisons of those convicted of low-level crimes while still able to monitor them.
According to the draft law, prisoners who have been sentenced to custodial sentences can make use of the new provisions and be released on the condition of home detention with an electronic monitoring on their ankle, which sounds an alarm if they move beyond a certain radius or try to remove it.
The bill introduces a number of conditions for the detainees who wish to apply for leaving the prison on the condition of house arrest with the electronic monitoring. Two of the main requirements introduced in the law predict that those who are allowed to use it are those who have already completed the 2/5ths of their sentence, and in case of a life sentence, at least 16 years.
An ankle monitor is a device that individuals under house arrest or parole are often required to wear. At timed intervals, the ankle monitor sends a radio frequency signal containing location and other information to a receiver. Ankle monitors are designed to be tamper-resistant and can alert authorities to removal attempts, such as cutting the conductive band causing a circuit break.
Electronic monitoring was originally developed by a small group of researchers at Harvard University in the 1960’s, headed by R. Kirkland Schwitzgebel and his twin brother, Robert Schwitzgebel. In 1983, Judge Jack Love in Albuquerque, New Mexico, inspired by a Spider-Man comic strip, initiated the first judicially sanctioned program using monitoring devices.