Interior Ministry of Ukraine has purchased 527 electronic ankle bracelets for offenders under house arrest, press secretary of the Ministry Volodymyr Polishchuk informed.

"There are 467 people under house arrest, being monitored by local police officers. The Ministry has 527 electronic ankle bracelets, but none of them has been put on the offender," he noted.

According to Polishchuk, relevant equipment is being installed in regional and district police departments for the bracelets to work, and training is being held for operators to be able to monitor the whereabouts of arrested offenders. 

As a reminder, according to the new Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine, suspects in minor crimes are no longer put in pre-trial detention facilities, but sent home under supervision.

Dmytro Shentsev, deputy chairman of the parliamentary committee on provision of law enforcement activity:

- In Russia, for example, similar norms came into force back in 2010. House arrest is applied as principal punishment for non-violent crimes, like verbal assault, slander, theft, fraud, embezzlement. The practice proves this new measure is especially effective with minors. In general, the idea is good. It is obvious that imprisonment, especially long-term one, ruins a person, while house arrest saves from the contact with professional criminals.    
House arrest as a penal confinement is applied in other countries as well - Europe, Israel, US. Despite visible advantages (familiar surroundings and comfortable conditions of you own house), offenders are limited in their activities - no alcohol, drugs and weapons in the house, limited telephone calls and internet navigation, constant monitoring and reporting.

Tetyana Yablonska, lawyer, human right activist:

- Indeed, the pre-trial detention facilities are less crowded now, but still it is too early to estimate the results of work of the new Criminal Procedure Code, as it came into force only in November 2012 and is not applied to people detained before that date. At the same time, I want to say that the previous Code also stipulated for such preventive measures, like recognizance not to leave. And if courts had used this measures more often, our detention facilities would not have been so loaded.  
Eduard Bagirov, human right activist:

- House arrest is a positive innovation, and the use of electronic ankle bracelets proves that technological capabilities of Ukrainian law enforcements are approaching European standards.
I hope alternative restrictive measures will be applied more often to unload the pre-trial detention facilities and to reduce state expenses for maintenance of detainees.

Andriy Presniakov, lawyer:

- House arrest has already been applied to some offenders in Ukraine. For example, there is a case on illegal sale of drugs, and the main suspect has been sent under house arrest. The court took into account such factors as family, permanent residence and grave chronic disease. Conditions of the house arrest are sparing enough: to stay home from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., to appear for interrogation at first call, not to leave the city.

In the course of investigation, a person under house arrest still has a possibility to keep working and maintain his family and himself. For the moment, the offenders are monitored by local police officers, as the electronic monitoring system has not been installed yet, but in general, the idea of house arrest is a good one. It makes us one-step closer to the civilized society.

Serhiy Grebeniyk, lawyer, legal advisor of the legal bureau "Yegorov, Puginski, Afanasiyev and partners":

- Such restrictive measure is very progressive, and I hope it will strike roots in our country. Ukrainian detention facilities are not the best place for staying. Under house arrest, people at least can eat properly.

The house arrest practice is advantageous not only for offenders, but for the state as well. Maintenance of detainees is not a cheap affair. Moreover, Ukraine has undertaken an obligation to observe European standards, including observing the rights of suspects. As we all know, all standards are left behind when the matter concerns Ukrainian detention facilities.

As far as I know, the budget has allocated money for purchasing electronic ankle bracelets, and more and more courts start to apply this restrictive measure. Even if the number of bracelets is insufficient, there are local police officers who can monitor offenders in person.

Oleksiy Garan, political scientist:

- I would withhold comments on this particular norm. In general, this norm is right, and it brings Ukraine closer to Europe. However, the matter concerns not the only one norm of the Criminal Procedure Code. There are nuances, and it is the job of lawyers to sort the things out.


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