If you are sent to prison for a period of less than 4 years, but over 6 months, you may be eligible for a TAG or HDC (Home Detention Curfew).
You must remember that TAG is not a “right” but a privilege so your behaviour in prison will influence whether you are granted tagging.
The prison, in conjunction with the prison probation officer and the probation service close to where you will be released will make various checks and enquiries with the police, the victims of your crime, and various other social agencies to see if you are allowed tagging. They will check that you have somewhere to live, and that this location is suitable, e.g. a bed sit over an off license may not be allowable if your crime was alcohol related. If you are accepted as being suitable for tagging you could be released from prison up to 134 days early.
The tag itself is a plastic device, not much bigger than a mans sports watch, which is attached to your ankle. A monitoring device is installed at your home address by the tag provider (G4S or Serco). This device is about the same size as an old fashioned radio alarm clock and shows if you are within the house boundaries during your curfew hours. The boundaries set are usually quite tight, it may be possible to stand outside the back door for a cigarette but it won’t be possible to go to the garden shed at the bottom of the garden. The installers will talk you through what is allowed as each house/home is different.
The hours of your tag will be, by default, 7pm to 7am the following day, seven days a week. It is possible to get these altered if you have a good reason to do so, such as your working hours. Any alteration in the hours has to be firstly agreed by your probation officer and then sent to the prison for the approval of a governor.
If you breach your curfew hours the monitoring device automatically inform the provider, who in turn will automatically involve your probation officer and/or the police. If you know you are going to be late, because for example your train has broken down, you must call the company as soon as you can ( and before you are actually late!) to tell them. They will expect proof of why you are late, (and just because you didn’t set out in time or the game went to extra time is unacceptable!) A breach could see you sent back to prison.
- The basics
- What does the probation service do?
- How does the probation service work?
- Community Service Orders
- The future of the service