Alcohol monitoring technology safeguards public in Volunteer State
As its population has steadily grown over the past few decades, Hamilton County, Tenn., has also seen an increase in drunk driving and other alcohol-related crimes. These crimes pose a serious safety risk to the community and consume public resources.
The Hamilton County Corrections Department provides pretrial and probation supervision to people in the county court system. The department uses SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM CAM) and SCRAM Remote Breath to monitor alcohol-involved offenders. The department started using the SCRAM monitoring devices in October 2014.
The goal of monitoring is to deter re-offense. The multiple monitoring technologies allows for customized supervision based on a person’s risk factors. SCRAM CAM provides 24/7 alcohol monitoring and optional house arrest, while SCRAM Remote Breath is a mobile breath tester for lower-level offenders.
The department monitors an average of 110 people each day with the two technologies. Data for both their alcohol and location monitoring caseload is available through an integrated, web-based platform that streamlines case management and reporting.
Local officials are aware of the importance and the difficulty of enforcing mandated sobriety. The department switched to portable breath and transdermal technology from just house arrest and older testing methods to achieve more robust abstinence monitoring.
“Some of these people would be sitting at home drinking and would create issues. They aren’t doing that in this monitoring program,” says Chris Jackson, Corrections Programs Superintendent for the county, says.
Jill Whaley, one of the department’s probation officers, agrees. “SCRAM Remote Breath and the bracelet give probation officers additional tools in their belt to supervise clients and hold them accountable,” she says.
Jackson and Whaley have also seen the difference alcohol monitoring makes to help clients successfully complete their supervision. Monitoring gives clients an additional measure of support to get and stay sober. According to Whaley, “Clients feel good when they are being successful with the technology and can prove their compliance.”
Click here to learn more about SCRAM Systems.