PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad– The Ministry of National Security has installed an electronic monitoring device on an offender for the first time in the country’s history.
The device will allow the State to monitor the individual’s whereabouts for the next year, the Ministry said on Thursday.
It was installed on Wednesday by the Ministry of National Security’s Electronic Monitoring Unit, following an order of the High Court on April 23, 2021, which granted the offender was bail on a condition of compliance with the parameters of the Electronic Monitoring Programme.
“The offender will be placed on home detention for a period of a year and will be required to wear the electronic monitoring ankle device twenty-four (24) hours a day for the duration of the period,” a statement from the Ministry said.
It said the person’s failure to comply with any of the terms of the order would result in the revocation of bail and immediate withdrawal from the Electronic Monitoring Programme.
The Administration of Justice (Electronic Monitoring) Act was assented to on July 3, 2012. Amendments to this Act were subsequently made through the Administration of Justice (Electronic Monitoring) (Amendment) Act, No. 11 of 2020 to make provision for the implementation of an electronic monitoring system in Trinidad and Tobago and the use of electronic monitoring devices as part of the criminal justice system.
The legislation allows the court to impose a sentence of electronic monitoring for an offense committed instead of a sentence of imprisonment or part of any sentence imposed. The court may also impose electronic monitoring as a bail condition or a Protection Order made under Section 5 of the Domestic Violence Act. Both pieces of legislation were proclaimed by the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on September 18, 2020.
The Act provides for a fine of TT$50,000 (US$7,370) and six months in prison for contravention of the Electronic Monitoring Regulations. The Act also makes provision for a fine of TT$100,000 (US$14,741) and two years in prison for tampering with or removal of an electronic monitoring device.
The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) can also immediately arrest any person who fails to comply with any agreement or condition related to the program.
Electronic monitoring is one of the major initiatives implemented by the government to transform and modernize the criminal justice landscape in this country.
“The Electronic Monitoring System is intended to contribute to the overhaul of the Penal System in Trinidad and Tobago by introducing a new sentencing option to the court as an alternative to incarceration, to reduce prison overcrowding, and introduce a more effective offender management system” the Ministry said.