The Electronic Anklets

The profusion of scandals, operations and convictions can scare investors and inhibit the economy as a whole. But it makes the joy of at least one business segment: that of manufacturers and suppliers of electronic anklets to governments and judicial branches. Representatives of the two major companies in the country say they registered significant growth in the recent period and that work with optimistic scenarios for the future. The two companies added monitor 30,000 anklets at the moment.

It was in 2010 that the then president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sanctioned Law 12,258, which allowed the use of the equipment in prisoners on parole or semi-open regime, creating a federal norm that consolidated initiatives of state scope. Another law, 12,403, of 2011, sanctioned by Dilma Rousseff, allowed the use of the ankle brace as a precautionary measure.

The market leader is Curitiba, the city that is the seat of the first instance of Operation Lava-Jet. The Spacecom of Paraná provides electronic anklets for 19 states. According to its managing partner, the engineer Savio Bloomfield, makes 55 million reais and grows more than 20% a year.

The growth rate can be perceived by the total number of contracted anklets. In January 2014, two months before the start of Operation Lava-Jet, there were contracted 15,700 equipment. In November 2015 the number reached 37.2 thousand. The Federal Court of Paraná had closed the hiring of 500.

Spacecom’s main competitor is Synergye from São Paulo, a contract owner in seven states and Costa Rica, which manages 8,000 anklets in use and 58 employees. The executive director, Carlos Alberto Luna, did not report billing. But it gave clues as to the company’s growth rate. Last year, their contracts accounted for a third of the current volume.

The anklets have been featured prominently in the news since the beginning of LavaJato. During this period, several famous prisoners appeared as”advertising boys” of the product, such as former Petrobras director Paulo Costa Costa, Alberto Youssef donor and former minister José Dirceu. The most recent is the former deputy Rodrigo Rocha Loures.

What makes the market promising, explains Luna, is the intensive growth of convictions throughout the country. Growing legal understanding that overcrowded chains represent an inadequate penalty for small offenders and public sector budget constraints give fuel To this trend.

It is estimated that a person imprisoned costs more than 5 thousand reais a month to the State. According to companies in the industry, the average value of ankle monitoring is no more than 280 reais per month in the simplest configurations.

In this business, companies do not sell anklets to the state, but the monitoring service, always hired by means of bidding. In most cases, those who contract are the state penitentiary administration secretariats, which stipulate in a public notice a period for the provision of the service and the amount of anklets they want to have available. More recently, departments of the judiciary have begun to contract. The first was the Federal Regional Court of the 4th Region, which covers the three southern states of the country.

Companies can only supply the equipment that is stuck in the condemned’s leg, as if it were a lease, or sell the complete package, which includes 24-hour monitoring, activation and deactivation of parts, among other things. Another advantage is the versatility of the product, which offers a diverse range of options for the judge to establish punishment. The magistrate has the possibility to determine the radius of mobility of the user(the residence, a block, the city or even the country); Specific schedules for commuting, for those who work during the day and need to return to jail at night; Or even specific alarms for cases in which the convict can not approach the victim, a very common type of sentence within the scope of the Maria da Penha Law.

The most common uses are for temporary exits of prisoners in situations of pardon, follow-up of house arrest and semi-openwork. Any attempt to disregard imposed constraints produces an immediate alert in the monitoring center. As well as possible attempts to break the equipment seal or interrupt the signal. Batteries, which usually last 48 hours, on average, must be recharged by the user. And, of course, everyone is warned that lack of recharge also produces alertness.