Shemaine Bushnell Kyriakides
Stefi Drakou, Minister of Justice and Public Order, announced today that she is in favor of introducing legislation that allows the use of ankle bracelets to monitor prisoners in lieu of incarceration. The legislation, if approved, will help ease over-crowding in Cyprus' jails prior to and during trial.
Some suspects are usually jailed until their trial begins depending on the seriousness of the crime. In these cases, the proposed legislation allows for the judge to keep suspects under 'house arrest' while being monitored with an electronic ankle bracelet.
This is a particularly serious issue and needs thoughtful deliberation by all parties involved.
In a written statement from the Ministry, Ms. Drakou states that she fully supports electronic monitoring of prisoners through the use of electronic ankle bracelets, as this will modernize Cyprus' penitentiary system.
However, after consultations with both the Chief of Police and prison warden, Ms. Drakou emphasized that this type of monitoring would not apply to those charged with exploitation or sexual abuse of minors, crimes of violence against women, drug trafficking and murder.
She noted, "after consultations with both the Chief of Police and the Directorate of Prisons, the Ministry came to the position that the above cases should be exempted from the possibility of electronic monitoring, because of the serious risks involved".
Ms. Drakou encouraged MP's and other pertinent authorities to give suggestions during the formulation of policy. "This is a particularly serious issue and needs thoughtful deliberation by all parties involved. We expect that through discussions and with the participation of other stakeholders, such as the Attorney General and the Justice System, the Parliament will reach the most correct solution".