State paying for tags, but no law to track sex offenders – Naughten

In Families by Denis Naughten

Kids legs“The taxpayer is forking €30,000 per year for electronic tags, but the lack of laws to allow for the electronic tagging of sex offenders is undermining the security of women & children in our communities” claims Denis Naughten.

“The Prison Service currently has 10 electronic tags which are used for prisoners on temporary release and it has just entered a contract for a further 50 tags at an annual cost of €140,000; yet we are still awaiting the new law which will allow for high risk sex offenders to be tagged”.

“The law to allow for the tagging of high risk sex offenders, post their release from prison, has been in planning for nearly 5 years, but it is still waiting to see the light of day”.

“So instead of electronic tags being used to make our streets safer for women & children, these tags are gathering dust, while we wait & wait for the new law”.

“I know that the Justice Minister is committed to reforming the law in this area but it just is not getting the priority it deserves”.

“I have raised the matter directly with An Taoiseach, and I now hope that this law, to making our streets safer, is put to the top of the Dáil agenda” concluded Denis Naughten.

Question to An Taoiseach: http://youtu.be/PLcAo9jbIZQ

Dáil replies:

QUESTION NO: 268

DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Justice and Equality (Ms. Fitzgerald)
by Deputy Denis Naughten
for WRITTEN on Tuesday, 30th September, 2014.

* To ask the Minister for Justice and Equality further to Parliamentary Question No. 593 of 15 July 2014, if she will provide the total cost and usage to date in 2014; her plans to expand the use of this service; if the tender has been received for the 50 further devices; the estimated annual cost of this contract; and if she will make a statement on the matter.                                                              – Denis Naughten

The cost of the contract referred to in Parliamentary Question No. 593 from January to June 2014 is €14,438.97 (including VAT) .

Following a competitive tender, Chubb Ireland have since been awarded a new electronic monitoring contract for the Irish Prison Service. The annual cost of this contract will depend on the number of prisoners who are monitored throughout the course of the year. It is expected that the average monthly costs will be in the region of €9,500 (excluding VAT).

I have no plans to extend the use of electronic monitoring beyond that being provided for in the Sexual Offences Bill currently being drafted. The General Scheme of the Bill includes provisions for the electronic monitoring of convicted sex offenders in specific circumstances.