TULSA, OK—While Tulsa area courts have been using 24/7 alcohol monitoring anklets to monitor offenders since 2005, the Rogers County Felony Drug and DUI Courts are some of the first in the country to implement a new version of the technology, which includes both 24/7 alcohol testing and house arrest monitoring in the same anklet.
The technology is called SCRAMx (for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor), and it includes an ankle bracelet, worn around-the-clock, that samples an offender’s perspiration every 30 minutes in order to ensure compliance with court-ordered sobriety. The “new” part of the SCRAMx System is the addition of house arrest, or RF (radio frequency), monitoring, which allows officials to sentence offenders to home confinement and remotely monitor compliance. Generally, offenders are allowed and even required to continue to work, with monitored confinement during non-working hours.
In early December Rogers County became one of the first programs in the country to integrate the multifunction bracelets in their offender programs, monitoring nearly 20 offenders to-date for both alcohol and home arrest. Since 2005, Tulsa area courts have monitored 950 offenders for alcohol. Nearly 100 of those offenders have been in Rogers County.
While many parts of the country are integrating the combined alcohol/house arrest technology in order to reduce jail stays and the associated costs, Rogers County is using SCRAMx to supplement their probation supervision team, which currently works to enforce court-ordered curfews by conducting in-person checks to ensure offenders are at home during scheduled times.
According to Denver-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems (AMS), which manufactures and markets SCRAMx in the U.S., the system monitors over 10,000 offenders each day in 48 states, and they anticipate as many as 20 percent of their monitored clients at any given time will be monitored for both alcohol and home arrest. “A multifunction system gives courts more discretion and more accountability without the cost of an additional bracelet or additional personnel,” says Terry Fain, western regional director for AMS. “Until now, the highest risk offenders were often placed on two anklets at twice the cost, or required a great deal of staff time to do in-person checks for curfew compliance. SCRAMx allows a court or probation to increase supervision—or decrease supervision—at their discretion, and for the same cost, based on the individual needs of each offender,” he says. According to Fain, Tulsa area courts are not charged any additional fees when they opt to use the house arrest monitoring in addition to alcohol monitoring. The average daily cost is $12 a day, and the offenders are required to pay all or a significant portion of that daily fee. “That amounts to a substantial cost-savings for the county,” he adds.
SCRAM alcohol monitoring was launched to the corrections market in 2003, and AMS says the technology has monitored 128,000 offenders to-date.SCRAMx with house arrest has been in live subject testing since 2009, and AMS began a limited, nationwide rollout of the multifunction system in February 2010. In addition to the Tulsa area, programs in Dallas, eastern and western Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Reno have integrated the multifunction system.
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 116 people across the U.S. and is a privately-held company headquartered in Littleton, Colorado.