Pend Oreille County, WA – Located in the extreme northeastern corner of Washington State, Pend Oreille County shares borders with Idaho and Canada and features one of the Pacific Northwest’s most picturesque landscapes and wilderness areas. The county’s name is derived from the French word for “earring,” which early French-Canadian trappers used to describe the large ear pendants worn by the local Native American tribe that inhabited the land prior to it being settled.
Pend Oreille is a small, sparsely populated county that is home to 13,000 residents, mostly in the timber and mining industries. Although these industries have attracted employment, nearly 20% of county residents are considered to be below the state poverty level.
Within the Pend Oreille County Probation Department, caseloads are heavy and can range from 400 to 800 per probation officer. About 75% of all cases at the misdemeanor level supervised by county probation are DUIs or assaults (primarily alcohol-fueled), while the remaining 25% can also be alcohol-related, such as minors in possession or theft. Pend Oreille Probation was struggling to provide adequate defendant supervision with such high-volume caseloads, which is why the county turned to SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring to support its alcohol program.
The Pend Oreille County Probation Department is a strong advocate of electronic monitoring technology, including SCRAM CAM, to monitor its high alcohol offender caseload. Probation Director Scott Cornwell explains that technologies like SCRAM CAM are helping the county balance its high volume of open cases with limited probation resources. “Without the aid of technology like SCRAM CAM, we wouldn’t be able to do our job as well as we would like to,” he says.
SCRAM CAM is used in a pretrial capacity on 2nd and higher DUI offenders. In order to support the overextended probation department, SCRAM provider Moon Security Services, Inc. will go directly to the jail and hook offenders up on SCRAM CAM while they’re still in custody. Because these offenders are literally walking out of the jail/courthouse continuously monitored by SCRAM CAM, the Pend Oreille Court and Probation Department views SCRAM CAM as a powerful public safety tool.
In Pend Oreille County, SCRAM CAM has generated 99.8% Sober Days, one of the highest in the country, for the benefit of the Pend Oreille community. With the depressed local economy, SCRAM CAM also allows these offenders to maintain jobs and contribute positively to the community.