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Minister proposes ankle bracelets for young criminals

TT/The Local · 22 Jun 2009, 06:47

Published: 22 Jun 2009 06:47 GMT+02:00

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Using the bracelets, according to Beatrice Ask, would allow young people to attend school or go to work while they complete their sentences, rather than remain in prison.

During evenings, weekends, and overnight, those outfitted with ankle bracelets wouldn’t be allowed to leave their homes.

“Otherwise, they could just continue keeping bad company with others who have committed crimes. If someone can’t handle the ankle bracelet the alternative is a closed institution for cases involving especially violent crime,” Ask said to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.

Currently, adults who receive sentences of six months or less can petition to serve their sentences at home, where they are monitored with the aid of an ankle bracelet.

But Ask’s suggestion was met by disapproval from the opposition.

“Beatrice Ask needs to see that ankle bracelets are an alternative to prison and we shouldn’t put children in prison. All the studies show that it’s dangerous,” said former Social Democratic justice minister Thomas Bodström, who currently heads the Riksdag’s justice committee.

The most common penalties for young people between the ages of 15- and 20-years-olds who have committed crimes are fines and community service.

However, probation, prison, and juvenile detention are also among the potential punishments for young criminals.

Story continues below…

The issue will be further examined as a part of a review of Sweden’s system of sentencing and punishment, upon which the government is set to decide on Thursday, according to SvD.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

07:26 June 22, 2009 by Marley420
To bad that the bracelet's do not come with matching earrings and necklaces.
08:24 June 22, 2009 by RoyceD
Here I think once again Sweden is focusing on the wrong things. If someone is deemed too dangerous to be allowed out in public without an ankle bracelet, should they really be allowed back into schools or back too work?

What is the point of introducing a system like this? You will glorify criminal activity by putting these things on kids and sending them back to school for a start and you put public money into something that is desperately needed elsewhere.

Here's a tip Sweden, try not to copy everything America does, otherwise you might just end up like... America.
08:32 June 22, 2009 by Puffin
I think it's a good idea - currently electronic tags can only be used for adults - which means that most young criminals aged 15-20 get fines or community service - only in exceptional siatuations is youth detention used.

This would allow the courts to impose conditions where appropriate such as curfews and house arrest during the weekend to keep them away from the type of situations that probably got them into trouble in the first place
12:30 June 22, 2009 by Kooritze
Cost cutting again?

Prison should be punishement.......not pleasant. In truth confinement coupled with a little humiliation. In the UK it is slowly going down the road for more prisoner rights....but as it stands we still have prisons where 4 to a cell are confined for most of the day. One prison still has slopping out ( in a bucket and empty it in the morning). All in all very unpleasant prisons.....and certainly would make one think twice about committing crime. Here in Sweden, I see no real deterent. As for new age, high tech schemes such as braclet tagging.........It is doomed to failure and not detering crime. Crime is nasty and those who commit it should be made to pay with humiliation.
14:17 June 22, 2009 by Puffin
It is a bit unfortunate that The Local has decided to translate "slutna institutioner" as prison - as the most common institutions that are referred to a sluten ungdomsvård (closed youth institutions) are not conventional prisons but special closed youth institutions for youths under the age of 18.

Only 80-100 are placed in these institutions for between 2 weeks and 4 years
23:50 June 23, 2009 by spy
Good idea and I think the technology could be developed further.

Perhaps if,after school hours, 2 bracelets are within 50 feet of each other they could administer an electric shock. Nothing lethal just rather painful. That would deter the little urchins from forming gangs.

Either that or children could just be disciplined.
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