WESTMINSTER, CO—Criminal justice agencies throughout the Western Slope and Southern Colorado are now online to implement a growing trend in high-tech law enforcement: A monitoring bracelet that’s worn 24/7 and actually samples your sweat in order to test for alcohol consumption.
The system, known as SCRAM® (the Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor), includes a high-tech anklet that samples a subject’s perspiration every 30 minutes, around the clock. Known as “continuous” alcohol testing, the system is designed specifically for long-term monitoring of alcohol-involved and alcohol-dependent offenders who are required to remain sober, either as part of their pre-trial release, as an alternative to a jail sentence or as a condition of probation or parole.
Intervention, Inc., a company that provides offender management and monitoring services to courts and other criminal justice agencies throughout the state, has been managing SCRAM programs in Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties since 2005. Now courts in 12 additional Colorado counties, including programs in Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs and Pueblo, have access to the technology through Intervention’s satellite offices.
SCRAM has monitored more than 63,000 offenders in 45 states since it first launched to the marketplace in 2003. In Colorado, more than 6,000 offenders have been monitored with SCRAM, including a large-scale DUI monitoring program in the City and County of Denver.
Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS), the Littleton-based company that manufactures and markets SCRAM nationwide, says that the continuous testing protocol is essential to ensure that offenders no longer drink around testing schedules and get away with it. “Because SCRAM monitors high-risk offenders continuously, it offers an unprecedented level of accountability,” says Don White, vice president of Field Operations for AMS. The company says that the technology is used to monitor a variety of alcohol-involved offenders, including DUI, domestic violence, drug and juvenile offenders, as well as participants in family court.
According to AMS, courts throughout the county are shifting their focus to increased supervision of alcohol-fueled offenders in order to support better long-term treatment outcomes, ultimately reducing recidivism and improving community safety. “The repeat alcohol offender cycle isn’t just costly in terms of money, it’s also a significant risk for local communities,” says White. Jim Greco, director of business operations for Intervention, agrees, and he cites SCRAM’s successful track record in the Denver Metro area as a reason the technology is gaining momentum throughout other parts of the state. “Criminal justice practitioners are looking for reliable, cost-effective ways to effectively monitor compliance with court orders and increase public safety.SCRAM allows them to do both,” says Greco. For those who may not be able to afford the cost of SCRAM, Intervention provides the technology on a sliding scale.
Alcohol and Crime: Colorado Quick Facts
According to The Century Council, which monitors and reports drunk driving statistics nationwide, nearly 29,000 drivers are arrested each year for DUI. Of those, 40 percent are arrested for driving at BAC levels above 0.15, which is nearly twice the legal limit. A full one-third are repeat offenders. In addition, the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that in 75 percent of cases of domestic violence, the offender is drunk at the time of the offense. “It’s essential that the courts have access to technologies like SCRAM in order to help them separate the alcohol problem from the offender,” says White. “You have to be able to get them sober in order to deal with the root cause of recidivism, which is alcohol abuse and addiction.”
About Intervention, Inc.
Intervention, Inc. is a private non-profit corrections company that provides a variety of supervision, electronic monitoring and drug and alcohol testing services to the courts and support programs to victims and families throughout Colorado. Founded in 1986, Intervention employs 100 people and has offices in Westminster, Aurora, Littleton, Grand Junction, Pueblo, Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Montrose, Gunnison, Canon City, Salida, Bailey, Ft. Morgan and Sterling. Intervention is the exclusive SCRAM Service Provider for misdemeanor and felony DUI, domestic violence and juvenile offenders in Montrose, Delta, Gunnison, Garfield, Rio Blanco, Pueblo, Fremont, Park, Chaffee, Morgan, Logan, Mesa, Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties in Colorado.
About Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc.
Established in 1997, Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. manufactures SCRAM®, the world’s only Continuous Alcohol Monitoring system, which uses non-invasive transdermal analysis to monitor alcohol consumption.SCRAM fully automates the alcohol testing and reporting process, providing courts and community corrections agencies with the ability to continuously monitor alcohol offenders, increase offender accountability and assess compliance with sentencing requirements and treatment guidelines. Since its launch to the marketplace in 2003, SCRAM has monitored over 60,000 offenders and is now in use in 45 states. Alcohol Monitoring Systems employs 100 people across the U.S. and is a privately held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.