Tagging offenders in UK ten times more expensive than in the US

The tagging of offenders is not used effectively and that is why a think tank has called for changes to be made as soon as possible. According to e recent report, the current use of tagging offenders is done in an ineffective way. It was announced that there will be changes in the electronic tagging systems which are said to save the UK government millions of pounds each year.

The conservative policy institute Policy Exchange has announced in a recent report that the current tagging of offenders is ineffective and thus costs too much for the government. The conservative policy institutes also states that £70m pounds could be saved only if the electronic monitoring of offenders across the UK is done by police or probation officers.  However, this is currently a responsibility of private firms. Such private firms include G4S and Serco. These companies not only provide but also administer the technology that is being used for tagging offenders. Nonetheless, Policy Exchange believes that these companies must provide support to the police and probation departments by supplying the devices. It will be then the job of the police and probation department to fir the technology devices to the offenders themselves. Additionally, the report made by the conservative policy institute also revealed that tagging a single offender in both England and Wales costs more than ten times than tagging one in the United States.

The claim that tagging offenders is used in an ineffective way has also been supported by the Future of Corrections report. According to this report, even though that the current electronic system for tagging offenders has a lot of potential; it is not being used effectively in terms of reducing crime. The Future of Corrections report suggests that it is the policemen who should advise both courts and prison officials on which offenders need to be tagged. The author of the report, Rory Geoghegan, stated that if the use of tagging continues to be extended without taking into consideration the current reforms, will eventually cost millions of pounds. Failing to recognize the importance of the reforms does not only concern money being wasted, but it also concerns the fact that the opportunity for cutting crime will be eventually missed.

Conversely, Richard Morris, group managing director of G4S Care and Justice Services, argued that these findings are not accurate. He stated that the tags generally provide “a robust alternative to expensive prison custody”. That is why; “tens of millions of pounds each year” are actually saved to taxpayers. He also added that over the years, the private firms have worked closely with the Ministry of Justice assuring that changes are made for the better execution of tagging offenders electronically. The firms have introduced innovative ideas and changes to the original services and this has resulted in good, even improved, value for money.

The UK government has stated that compared with current reforms and agreements, new contracts for electronic monitoring will bring even more value for money next April.

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