20 Dec 2017

27 million in vain -- a costly mishap of the Slovak judiciary

When ankle monitors for convicts were introduced in Slovakia, it seemed like an excellent way to save money. Today, we know that the cost of one person with such monitor is about half a million euros. 

Ria Gehrerová
Ria Gehrerová Denník N, Slovakia
Source: Denník N
27 million in vain -- a costly mishap of the Slovak judiciary - NewsMavens
Ankle monitor. Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

finance, economy

When two years ago ankle monitors were introduced in Slovakia, it seemed like an excellent way to save money. After all, a day in prison of a single convict costs the state 41.68 euros. Why not let minor criminals walk around under the surveillance of ankle monitors?

Today we know that the cost of one person with an ankle monitor is about half a million euros. The Slovak Ministry of Justice spent 27 million euros on purchasing the ankle monitors, but in the following years they were used in only 47 cases. You do the math.

It seems that Slovak judges do not trust this monitoring system and are rarely willing to use it as a form of punishment. They still prefer to send a convict to prison or give him/her a parole without an ankle monitor.

This is not to say that the concept, introduced by the former Minister of Justice Tomáš Borec, was a failed one. The 47 persons who were given an ankle monitor instead of going to prison saved Slovakia more than 750,000 euros in two years.

More money could be saved going forward, if judges put a bit more faith in the monitors, however. Perhaps the 25 convicts who will use them to spend Christmas and New Years with family this year will be a step in that direction.

Details from the story:

  • Ankle monitors were introduced in Slovakia in January 2016.
  • They were supposed to be used in house arrest and for monitoring people with a restraining order, abusers or hooligans.
  • A day in prison of a single convict costs the state 41.68 euros.
  • Minister of Justice, Lucia Žitňanská (Most), criticizes the judges for abstaining from using the ankle monitors.
  • 25 Slovak convicts will be given an ankle monitor soon so they can spend Christmas and New Year’s with their families.
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