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Nearly 6,000 Russian convicts wear electronic bracelets

May 04, 2012, 15:29 UTC+3

A system of electronic monitoring of convicts was introduced last year in 60 territories of Russia

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MOSCOW, May 4 (Itar-Tass) — Nearly six thousand convicts in Russia wear electronic bracelets, the chief of the department for the enforcement of penalties not involving isolation from society of the federal penalties enforcement service FSIN, Yelena Zarembinskaya, said on Friday.

“Last year we introduced a system of electronic monitoring of convicts in 60 territories of Russia. In the first half of this year this system will begin to cover the whole territory of Russia. At present 5,969 convicts serve punishment wearing electronic bracelets.

There are two types of electronic monitoring systems. One is stationary (the electronic bracelet is used to control the person’s presence within 150 meters of the stationary receiver planted at home), and the other is mobile (all of the person’s movements are monitored through the GSM system).

“Which system is to be chosen largely depends on decisions by courts, which most often oblige the convict not to leave a certain city or region,” Zarembinskaya explained.

The introduction of electronic bracelets has encouraged judges to pass freedom restriction sentences instead of isolation from society.

“Courts have begun to use this punishment more often, because they have realized that control of convicts is real,” Zarembinskaya said. Whereas in 2010 less than 7,000 were punished with freedom restrictions, now, according to criminal punishment inspections 20,000 have been through this kind of punishment. At present 13,500 are serving such terms.

At the same time court practices of passing such sentences vary from region to region. The Krasnodar and Stavropol territories and the Belgorod region are the leaders, with 1,500 sentences, while in some other regions there are just a couple of such cases.

“At present more than 20,000 sets with electronic bracelets are used. We are drafting a contract to purchase another 10,000 sets,” Zarembinskaya told Itar-Tass.

The restriction of freedom has been used since 2010 as the main type of punishment for minor and medium grave crimes, or as an extra punishment of those imprisoned for grave offences.

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