Electronic tagging to be considered for sex offenders on release from prison

Judges could be given new powers under the plans

Electronic tagging to be considered for sex offenders on release from prison

Image: irishprisons.ie

The Cabinet is to discuss electronic tagging for sex offenders on their release from prison.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan is set to announce a clamp down on Wednesday.

Under the plans, judges could be given new powers to protect the public and monitor people convicted of serious crimes.

Among the series of measures will be a request to allow judges to sign off on electronic monitoring for sex offenders who have already completed jail sentences.

This could be invoked if officials fear the person is likely to commit further offences.

Electronic tagging is currently used in some instances to monitor people who have been granted temporary released from jail to attend hospital.

An Irish Prison Service policy document from 2017 suggested that the prisoner must agree to the condition of the tag, and that permission must be sought from the owner or person in charge of the premises the restriction order will apply to.

"The Irish Prison Service remain conscious of the risk of re-offending and risk to public safety.

"Any decision taken to grant a prisoner temporary release will take full account of these and any relevant victim issues," the document added.

The document said prisoners should also have 48 hours to read and understand forms in relation to their tagging.

A bill was brought to Cabinet in 2016 which would have allowed people to be electronically tagged and tracked while they awaited trial.

Electronic tagging as a condition of bail was first introduced in 2007 - but was not implemented due to concerns its overuse could lead to cost and operational difficulties.