Ministers are planning to implant "machine-readable" microchips under the skin of thousands of offenders as part of an expansion of the electronic tagging scheme that would create more space in British jails.
Amid concerns about the security of existing tagging systems and prison overcrowding, the Ministry of Justice is investigating the use of satellite and radio-wave technology to monitor criminals.
But, instead of being contained in bracelets worn around the ankle, the tiny chips would be surgically inserted under the skin of offenders in the community, to help enforce home curfews. The radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, as long as two grains of rice, are able to carry scanable personal information about individuals, including their identities, address and offending record.
The tags, labelled "spychips" by privacy campaigners, are already used around the world to keep track of dogs, cats, cattle and airport luggage, but there is no record of the technology being used to monitor offenders in the community. The chips are also being considered as a method of helping to keep order within prisons.
Here's my solution to prison overcrowding: fit all parolled prisoners with a GPS collar kind of like in that Rutger Hauer movie Wedlock. If a prisoner wanders too far away from home detention or goes somewhere he/she shouldn't be, the collar explodes, removing the prisoner's head. You would effectively be able to empty the prisons of all but the most violent criminals and monitor their every move.
These bleeding-heart, prisoners'-rights, civil liberterians....I swear!