Also known as Specialty Courts, the first problem-solving court was a Drug Court in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which launched in the late 1980s. Designed to tackle what officials saw as the revolving door of repeat, drug-addicted offenders, the program took the then-revolutionary approach of combining drug treatment with the accountability and enforcement powers of the judicial system. More than two decades later, 2,800 Drug Courts are operational in the U.S., and the program has become a model for what is known today as problem-solving courts.
SCRAM Systems has been working with Veterans Treatment Courts since the first one was established in Buffalo, New York, in 2010. These hybrid Drug/Mental Health Courts serve a rapidly growing population: U.S. combat veterans struggling with addiction, physical and mental health challenges, homelessness, and unemployment.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 75% of all cases of domestic violence, the victim perceives the abuser to be under the influence of alcohol. But while the majority of domestic violence incidents involve alcohol, monitoring these high-risk offenders to ensure physical separation between the victim and the offender is essential. That includes continuously monitoring DV offenders for compliance with protective orders and substance abuse treatment.
Once drug-addicted offenders begin drug testing as part of the Drug Court treatment model, alcohol often becomes an offender’s #1 drug of choice. It’s legally obtained, and drug testing is not frequent enough to catch the vast majority of drinking events. Today Drug Courts are utilizing SCRAM alcohol monitoring technologies to close the gap and enforce alcohol compliance as part of the treatment court model.
When a parent is assessed with an alcohol dependence issue, alcohol monitoring often becomes a requirement for visitation or custody. The automated, 24/7 testing protocol of SCRAM CAM is the preferred method for monitoring parents for compliance, especially when child welfare is on the line.
It’s an epidemic, and studies show that early problem drinking almost guarantees a lifetime of alcohol misuse and crime. But these same studies show that swift intervention—tackling the issue firmly and early—can prevent a life that enters the revolving door of drinking and re-offending. Juvenile programs, including a number of programs associated with college campuses, are working to tackle binge drinking and alcohol dependence before it destroys a life.
Sobering Up Blog
Starting next year, drivers in Canada could be required to take alcohol breath tests regardless of whether officers have a “reasonable suspicion” that they are driving under the influence of alcohol.
SCRAM in the News
The Lake Havasu City Veterans Court last week received a $20,000 grant toward its use of SCRAM CAM ankle monitors.
Hear Dennis talk about his struggles with alcohol and how SCRAM CAM helped him get his life back on track.