Electronic Tags For Young Offenders

Sweden's Justice Minister Beatrice Ask says she's considering introducing electronic tags for juvenile offenders as an alternative to prison.

Those young criminals fitted with the ankle tags would be allowed to serve their sentence at home and would be subject to a curfew at night.

Often seen as a means of reducing the prison population, electronic tags are popular in the UK.

The government's review of the prison system involving sentencing and punishment is presented on Thursday.

The Justice Minister told the SVD newspaper that the evening curfew was necessary to change a young offender's behaviour " Otherwise they could just continue keeping bad company with others who have committed crimes. If someone cannot deal with the electronic tag then the alternative is a closed institution for cases involving especially violent crime," said Ask.

Her proposal was criticised by the opposition Social Democrat's Justice Minister Thomas Bodström who said that ankle tags were "an alternative to prison and children should not be put in prison."

Young offenders between the ages of 15 and 20 usually receive fines and/or community service.

Electronic tags are used in Sweden on Adults who are serving a sentence of six months or less and ask to serve that sentence at home.