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Odisha Plans to Use GPS Tracking Devices for Non-Heinous Under-Trial Prisoners

Bhubaneswar: In a pioneering move, Odisha is poised to become the first state in India to implement GPS-enabled tracking devices for under-trial prisoners (UTPs) facing non-heinous charges. The Odisha prison department has proposed equipping these UTPs with tamper-proof tracking devices, estimated to cost between Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000, to alleviate prison overcrowding and reduce government expenditure on jail inmates.

Dr. Manoj Chhabra, the Director-General of Prisons, announced that the prison department has submitted a proposal to the state government to introduce this technology, which would confine “non-violent undertrials involved in petty offences” to their homes.

The tracking devices would be programmed to alert the police if an UTP attempts to leave a designated area. The government is currently reviewing the proposal.

The introduction of the ankle tracking system for undertrials is part of the state’s broader efforts to reform its prison system and address issues of overcrowding. Currently, Odisha’s 87 jails house over 20,000 inmates, with approximately 65% of undertrials detained for offenses punishable by up to seven years in prison.

“As an alternative to jail, undertrials seeking bail may be required to wear the tracking device, which could be purchased by the undertrial in exchange for bail,” informed Chhabra.

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