Tracking bracelets designed to keep individuals accused or convicted of violent acts away from their victims are now being deployed in four new regions of the province: the North Shore, the Eastern Townships, Central Quebec and Montreal.

These regions join those of Quebec City, Chaudière-Appalaches, Joliette and Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, which obtained the device in the spring of 2022. Lanaudière, the Laurentians, Laval and Montérégie implemented the devices last fall. The Mauricie and Outaouais regions were also added to the project in recent weeks.

So far, 65 ankle bracelets have been imposed in the province. A judge, the Quebec Parole Board and the management of a detention facility are authorized to order the wearing of such a device.

The device consists of a non-removable bracelet worn on the ankle by the accused or offender and a mobile application installed on a cell phone given to the victim or alleged victim. As soon as the wearer of the bracelet is within a certain perimeter of the victim's location, a signal is transmitted to a central monitoring station, where a police intervention is triggered.

Quebec is the first province to have equipped itself with the technology that aims to protect victims of domestic violence, Minister of Public Security François Bonnardel said in a news release.

"The bracelet can help save lives and give peace of mind to many women, which is why we are redoubling our efforts since May 2022 to implement it as quickly as possible," the minister said.

According to the deployment schedule of the ankle bracelets, the Bas-Saint-Laurent and the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean should be the next regions to receive the technology in June.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Nord-du-Québec will follow in September.

The province-wide deployment of the bracelet comes with an estimated cost of $41 million.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on May 8, 2023. This story was written with the financial assistance of the Meta Grant and The Canadian Press for news.