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Minister proposes ankle bracelets for young criminals

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Minister proposes ankle bracelets for young criminals
06:47 CEST+02:00
Sweden's justice minister says she's open to monitoring young offenders with ankle bracelets rather than keeping them locked up.

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.

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.

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