by Donna Sealy
A Barbadian businessman is offering Government a system to reduce the number of inmates at Dodds prison.
Owner and Director of Comprehensive Security Solutions, Ryan Clarke, told Barbados TODAY via telephone that the use of ankle bracelets to monitor people placed on parole or community service by the law courts, could result in huge financial savings for the Government.
“We are the first and only company in Barbados that has ankle bracelets. We’ve tested and proven that they could work here. It could help save the Government some overheads. You have persons that are incarcerated, they could be doing short time also; you need to have some form of procedure to [determine] if a person qualifies for early release.
“The Government pays close to $94 per day for one person who is incarcerated. If you multiply that by the number of persons you have in jail per day it doesn’t normally go over 1,200, it is close $68 million a year. When you look at it, $68 million is a lot of money for Government to [spend], and what we were proposing is that persons who qualify use the bracelets.
“It is not just a simple bracelet. Once you attach it to the skin it gives you all the basics such as location; but it also tells you if the person has used a high level of alcohol or if they have used any illegal substances and the level … through a graph chart.
“Persons for drug abuse offences and first time offenders, if they were caught with drugs, instead of putting them in jail [authorities] can let them continue to work and instead of taxing the tax-payers who are working hard and diligently for the $94 to keep the person in jail we are offering [the authorities] a price of $35 per person. When we do an analysis they would be saving 57 per cent of the money. That would be a huge saving, … they would have to put [all the] legislation in place,” Clarke said.
The entrepreneur added that in his opinion, a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew, was a waste of time as authorities had no way of knowing what the offender did between those hours.
Clarke also said that the use of the bracelets would also keep the offenders in check as they might think twice about committing another crime.
He noted that he had requested meetings and sent information to the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Commissioner of Police and the Ministry of Small Business, but to date only the commissioner’s office and the Ministry of Small Business had responded.
Attorney-General and Minister of Home Affairs, Adriel Brathwaite, told Barbados TODAY the use of bracelets was on the table.
“We’re presently examining the whole issue of parole and part of that would be the use of technology which obviously would include ankle bracelets, etc. It is going to need legislative changes…
“We’ve actually had a presentation, we’ve looked at it and there’s a paper and I know that we’ve agreed … we’ve actually looked to see what the staffing requirements will be, what legislative changes will be required, where will we house the information because we’re looking at having a 911 system. My information is that it can be integrated into that same system and we should be able to track that information,” Brathwaite said while making it clear he was not at his desk and could not expand more.
Comprehensive Security Solutions has the exclusive rights to the bracelets in Barbados and the region. The model bracelet has been certified by the US Department of Defence and is used in Panama, Argentina, and in some European countries. [email protected]