Research shows that 60% of jail inmates are actually awaiting disposition of their cases rather than serving time for a conviction. Funding cuts to courts in many jurisdictions mean longer waits for adjudication of a case, and longer waits mean more incarceration time for defendants who are nonviolent, but can’t afford bail. As a result, many communities are facing overcrowded facilities and burgeoning costs from pretrial incarceration.
The pretrial system helps communities address public safety concerns and reduce jail costs for pretrial defendants, while allowing clients to maintain their employment and fulfill their family obligations.
Advances in monitoring technologies have fundamentally changed the way pretrial programs operate. In 2012, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice, the Pretrial Justice Institute published a report on the use of technology to manage pretrial populations. Supporting the need for supervision and enforcement, the report outlined house arrest, GPS location tracking, and both continuous and mobile alcohol monitoring as essential tools.
Beyond just drunk-driving offenses, alcohol is a leading or contributing factor in many crimes, and mandated sobriety has become a common and effective condition of pretrial release.
SCRAM Systems alcohol monitoring tools are widely used to screen and assess defendants for varying levels of alcohol dependence as part of pretrial assessment, as well as monitor compliance with pretrial conditions while awaiting adjudication. In 2012, the National Association of Counties came out in support of Continuous Alcohol Monitoring, in conjunction with its house arrest capabilities, as an effective alternative to incarceration for pretrial defendants.
Location monitoring is the most prevalent supervision technology used in pretrial programs today. Communities use curfew monitoring, house arrest, and GPS tracking to ensure defendants make their court appearances, to support public safety, and to restrict defendants’ movements during high-risk times.
SCRAM GPS and SCRAM House Arrest offer programs flexible location monitoring options to oversee a range of defendants. In addition, these monitoring tools provide valuable data to help programs track and improve their outcomes.
Like most major metropolitan areas, San Diego County has been challenged with alcohol-related crime, especially drunk driving. In 2011, the South Bay Courthouse instituted a SCRAM CAM program, requiring the technology at time of arraignment as a mandatory condition of release. The program has helped the county reduce jail overcrowding at a significant savings to taxpayers.
Sobering Up Blog
America is currently in the grip of an addiction crisis—the opioid epidemic. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), over 64,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2016, more than the number of Americans killed during the entirety of the Vietnam War. While the devastating effects of opioid addiction have been well-publicized in recent years, many states continue to designate alcohol abuse as their priority.
SCRAM in the News
In 2017, 745 people on bail conditions or probation/parole in Lancaster County wore a SCRAM device under the county’s DUI repeat offender program.
Hear Ron talk about his struggles with alcohol and how SCRAM CAM helped get his life back on track.