Grant Shapps MP has compiled a short report on the increasingly ineffective tagging scheme:
“Far from saving money, the fact that 1 in 9 of those wearing tags re-offends means that the social cost of the Home Detention Curfew programme is much higher than had originally been thought. It’s now very clear that the prison population crisis has led to thousands of additional crimes by prisoners who have been selected for electronic tagging and thereby released too early from prison."
Parliamentary Questions revealed that the reoffending rate of "taggers" has quadrupled in the last five years, with 4000 offences being committed by those on Home Detention Curfew in since 2005 alone, the brutal murder committed by Danny Cann being the most high profile in recent years. Hardly "prison without bars".
The Ministry of Justice say the increased reoffending rate is because they are putting prisoners on the scheme earlier and therefore for longer, which is hardly an excuse. According to this factfile by the Prison Reform Trust, the prison population is predicted by the Home Office to reach 106,550 by 2013 yet it is only planning to add another 8000 places to the current 70,000+ by 2012. It’s a shame the once effective HDC scheme is failing at such a time as this. Grant Shapps is calling for a review:
"Electronic tagging should be used as an addition to prison, not simply as a cheap alternative as a result of the Government’s monumental failure to address the chronic lack of capacity in Britain’s jails."
This is the fourth report that he has written in the last couple of months, and published on his excellent website.