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Convicts choose prison over electronic tag

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Convicts choose prison over electronic tag
07:59 CEST+02:00
Every fourth convicted criminal offered the choice of prison or wearing an electronic tagging device in 2009 opted to go to jail, with the tag associated with stringent regulations and social isolation.

"Aside from all the times and rules, many consider that they have a better social life in prison where they meet others. Outside the prison walls, they have an apartment but no social network to speak of," said Lena Mellström-Bäckman at the probation board in Stockholm to the Metro newspaper.

A total of 5309 convicted criminals were offered sentenced tagging in 2009. Of the 3940 who elected for tagging several hundred later chose instead to go to prison after digesting the regulations associated with the penalty.

The electronic tag is a band that is attached to the ankle and enables the prisons service to monitor the prisoner if he strays too far from his designated apartment.

Swedish convicted criminals can be offered the alternative of an electronic tag, also known as "intensive surveillance with electronic control", if they have been sentenced to less than six months, if they have already served a longer penalty, or if the prisoner is interred at Kolmården open prison to enable greater freedom.

In order to be granted the alternative the prisoner must have an ordered residence, telephone and at least a half-time employment or schooling.

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