MEDELLIN —Crimes being committed by some of Colombia's 38,000 convicts on prison leave have become an almost "daily headache," with some returning to a life of lawlessness despite wearing electronic tags or bracelets.
The need to keep closer tabs on prisoners who have been granted leave has led two prison authority (INPEC) employees and a policeman to create software allowing inmates to be located anywhere, in real time. It is apparently the first such application in Latin America, and it is intended to complement the existing tagging system, allowing police and prison authorities to view the same information at the same time.
"On the map, you can see all of INPEC's geo-referenced locations," says one of the inventors, INPEC employee Alba López Torres. "With a click, you can view the basic information on the inmate, his or her exact location, the ID number, date of arrest, and his or her photo."
She says police can download the application on any of their systems to see who is in which parts of town, complete with their full criminal IDs. The application is set to be tested in Medellín, where there have been 61 recividist incidents in 2014.