Brown County, WI – Brown County, Wisconsin, is home to Green Bay and the city’s surrounding suburbs. One of the state’s two original counties, Brown County now has a population of just under a quarter of a million people. Manufacturing and food processing play a significant role in the community, and the county’s major industries include dairy and meat, furniture factories, and paper products. In addition, Green Bay, located on Lake Michigan, is a major port for both domestic and foreign trade and transportation.
The mission of the Brown County Sheriff’s Office is to improve public safety through proactive, efficient, and professional law enforcement services, tailored to the needs of all people in Brown County. The Sheriff's Office has used SCRAM GPS since July 2015 and uses it both for its work release program and to supervise some treatment court clients.
The work release program is governed by Wisconsin’s Huber Law. This statute allows offenders who are sentenced to a county jail for nonpayment of a fine, contempt of court, or select misdemeanor and felony crimes to leave the jail for a period of the day for work, job hunting, community service, school, medical treatment, or other preapproved activities.
Work release allows offenders to maintain their employment or education obligations—factors that have been shown to increase stability and reduce recidivism—while serving their sentence. Once on the program, offenders are expected to cover the costs for their room and board at the jail, as well as for their electronic monitoring if ordered. The majority of offenders participate in work release for a few months. To streamline the daily release process, offenders wear their GPS bracelet at all times.
The majority of the people in the work release program have been convicted of impaired driving or non-violent offenses. In order to participate in the program, offenders undergo an assessment to determine their risk to the community and whether there is a need for GPS monitoring while on work release.
On any given day, about 160 individuals are enrolled in the program, with 90 to 100 of those on GPS location monitoring. Offenders are required to submit a weekly schedule for their time away from the jail. GPS monitoring, along with the jail’s 24/7 master control center, ensures any client can be located within moments.
According to Lt. John W. Mitchell, officers leverage the GPS Analytics and the system’s monitoring dashboard to decrease desk time and spend more time in the field with their offenders. The dashboard view provides all of an offender’s details in one place, allowing officers to quickly spot issues and access the information they need to address concerns.
The software is very user-friendly and a huge time-saver,” notes Lt. Mitchell. “It means we can spend more time on the road doing compliance checks and making sure clients are doing what they are supposed to.
Recently, the ability to quickly understand a client’s data via GPS Analytics helped the department resolve a fraud case. A client claimed she had been using her welfare benefits in a neighboring state, but the data from the technology disputed her story. GPS Analytics quickly summarized her travel patterns and stops during the time the card was used, meaning officers didn’t have to review her data point-by-point to find the information they needed. When confronted with the data, the client finally admitted to giving the card to another person to use.
The county also appreciates how the quality of the technology is backed by outstanding customer service from SCRAM Systems. From the initial training to day-to-day questions, SCRAM staff responds quickly and go out of their way to take care of the county’s needs. “Our SCRAM representative worked with us to get a great price with great customer service for the tools we needed,” says Lt. Mitchell.