Program Aims to Save Tax Dollars, Improve Community Safety
JEFFERSON CITY, MO—The Missouri Department of Corrections Division of Probation and Parole has launched a new alcohol monitoring Pilot Program aimed at testing the impact of 24/7, continuous alcohol monitoring on the management of the state’s alcohol-fueled offenders.
The pilot, which began in early March, targets offenders with a documented history of alcohol abuse and with offense histories that include multiple DWIs. The six month Pilot Program will run in seven probation and parole district offices located in St. Louis, Vernon, Jackson, Greene, Boone, Scott and Buchanan counties and will monitor a total of 70 offenders, each for 90 days.
The technology is known as SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor). It includes an ankle bracelet, worn 24/7, that actually samples an individual’s perspiration every 30 minutes in order to test for alcohol consumption. Court programs throughout Missouri have monitored more than 2,600 DUI, domestic violence and other alcohol-involved offenders since 2004. The Missouri DOC program is being funded by Intervention Fees that are collected from each individual sentenced to probation or parole in the state, to support interventions that reduce recidivism and improve offender success. “The goal of the program is to increase our ability to ensure sobriety for clients in our program, ultimately reducing the number of revocations while increasing the safety in the community,” says Angie Morfeld, public information officer for the Missouri DOC. Future use of SCRAM will be determined based on an assessment of the Pilot project.
St. Louis-based Eastern Missouri Alternative Sentencing Services, which manages one of the largest SCRAM programs in the country, will manage the monitoring services for pilot participants in Boone, Greene and St. Louis counties. “This technology has revolutionized the way that alcohol-related offenders are managed in the criminal justice system,” says Mike Smith, president of EMASS. “It can save significant amounts of money for corrections programs and taxpayers while also improving public safety.” In addition to EMASS, four other private companies will partner with the Division of Probation and Parole in order to manage the Pilot program. County Probation Services, Inc. will provide SCRAM to pilot participants in Vernon County; Electronic Sentencing Alternatives will manage the program in Jackson County; Midwest Monitoring Systems will manage SCRAM offenders in Scott County and Private Probation Services will manage participants in Buchanan County.
Alcohol and Crime in Missouri
According to The Century Council, which compiles DUI/DWI data state by state, more than 35,000 offenders are arrested each year for DWI in the state of Missouri. Of those, more than 28 percent are repeat offenders. Mike Iiams, chairman and CEO of Denver-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems, which manufactures and markets SCRAM nationwide, says alcohol-involved offenders represent a disproportionate percentage of the offender population. “Nearly 36 percent of violent crimes and 75 percent of domestic violence cases include offenders who were drunk at the time of the offense. And drunk drivers represent 18 percent of all those on probation each year, more than any other single offense,” says Iiams. “Recidivism rates for offenders struggling with alcohol are astounding. Programs that can manage the addiction and ensure sobriety through continuous testing are seeing significant impact.”
SCRAM technology has monitored 94,000 offenders in 46 states. Nearly 9,500 offenders are monitored daily throughout the U.S.
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. Alcohol Monitoring Systems employs 104 people across the U.S. and is a privately-held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.