Bhubaneswar, Aug 30: With an aim to reduce congestion in jails and reduce the government’s expenditure on prisoners, Odisha prison department has proposed to keep under trial prisoners (UTP) facing non-heinous charges under house arrest by fitting GPS-enabled tracking devices to their ankles.
Director General of prisons Manoj Chhabra said that the prison department has sent a proposal to the government in this regard.
As per reports, the tracking device is estimated to cost between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 and comes with robust tamper-proof features. It would be programmed with specific boundaries or perimeters and tied to the ankles of the UTPs. If the prisoner ventures beyond authorized limits, it will alert the police which will lead to the revocation of their bail.
Through this technology, we can keep non-violent UTPs involved in petty offences confined in their houses without sending them to jails. This initiative would reduce prison overcrowding. We have sent a proposal to the government in this regard and it is still considering it, said Chhabra.
Notably, the Supreme Court had earlier advised states not to arrest offenders for crimes carrying a maximum imprisonment of seven years.
Approximately 65% of UTPs in Odisha’s jails are detained for offences punishable by up to seven years in prison.
There are over 20,000 inmates in 87 jails in the state.