EM bracelets probed for design flaws

EM bracelets probed for design flaws

Soap and water are applied to help remove an electronic monitoring bracelet without breaking it during a test to assess its flaws at the Department of Probation.  (Photos by Apichit Jinakul)
Soap and water are applied to help remove an electronic monitoring bracelet without breaking it during a test to assess its flaws at the Department of Probation.  (Photos by Apichit Jinakul)

Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin yesterday ordered a probe into the procurement of electronic monitoring (EM) bracelets after a test showed the devices could be easily removed and taken apart.

Mr Somsak, who observed the test at the Department of Probation, said he was concerned about flaws in the design of the bracelets, and instructed the justice permanent secretary to look into the terms of reference (ToR) and investigate further.

The tests were carried out after one of the losing bidders for the project complained that the device provided by the winner could be easily removed using water and soap.

Yesterday's tests found that it could be easily removed from wrists, but not ankles.

However, tests of the devices showed that when they were removed from a subject and put back on, the bracelets would send a message to authorities that the device was "jolted", or damaged.

Mr Somsak said that if the devices were found not to be in compliance with certain specifications, the Department of Probation would be forced to take action against the supplier for failing to honour the procurement contract.

Prasarn Mahaleetrakul, head of the Department of Probation, said the department alerted its officials to the device flaws and that it had signed a contract to lease the EM bracelets from a supplier from 2019 to 2020.

The EM bracelets are designed to track movements of offenders on probation as a measure to reduce overcrowding in prisons.


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