A White Paper issued by the Home Affairs Ministry on Tuesday proposes to allow electronic monitoring of people convicted of minor crimes, instead of imprisonment.
Minister Byron Camilleri told a press conference that electronic monitoring could be used as an alternative to short prison sentences as well as to facilitate the granting of prison leave and parole.
In terms of what is being proposed, a court will be empowered to consider electronic monitoring of a convicted person ordered to stay at home instead of in prison as long as the prison sentence does not exceed one year, and the crime carried a maximum potential sentence of nor more than two years imprisonment.
In this way, Camilleri said, convicted persons under electronic monitoring would still be able to go to work or to continue their studies, as long as society is not endangered in any way.
This alternative will not apply for prisoners convicted of domestic violence, gender violence, non-observance of maintenance orders, crimes related to the protection of minors, and crimes linked to not granted access to children.
Camilleri said electronic monitoring could be allowed instead of imprisonment following convictions for failure to submit VAT returns on time, causing slight injuries after an argument, driving without a licence or allowing somebody else to drive a car without a licence.
The minister said these measures were aimed to ensure that convicted persons paid for their crimes, while having every opportunity to reform themselves.
Submissions on the White Paper will be received by the ministry up to May 25.
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