A press release from the 22nd (McHenry County) Judicial Circuit:
McHenry County Probation Program Taking High-Tech Approach to Supervise Alcohol Offenders
Alcohol-sensing anklets used to address alcohol-involved crime
Woodstock, IL – With 859 DUI arrests in 2013, McHenry County ranks in the top 10 Illinois counties for drunk driving. To better manage high-risk alcohol offenders the individuals who are most likely to reoffend or cause a serious crash the 22nd Judicial Circuit Probation & Court Services is adding 24/7 alcohol monitoring to its evidence-based practices to improve public safety while reducing costs.
In keeping with nationally recognized evidence-based practices, probation officers routinely screen convicted offenders for alcohol abuse issues.
Under the new initiative, when alcohol addiction is the root cause of a person’s criminal activities, a device will be worn by the offender 24/7 on the ankle to ensure offenders aren’t drinking.
Known as SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring, or SCRAM CAM, the anklet automatically tests a subject’s perspiration every 30 minutes to measure for alcohol consumption.
The department plans to use the technology for high-risk DUI offenders, as well as for alcohol-involved domestic violence cases and other crimes where drinking was a primary factor.
The combination of supervision by probation staff, alcohol monitoring and referrals to other services, like treatment and alcohol education, is designed to help offenders address their alcohol issues and reduce the chances that they will reoffend.
“This is not a one size fits all approach to alcohol offenders, instead it is about long-term behavior change of the individual.
“Twenty years of research supports that only those individuals who are properly assessed and require this level of intervention will be included in this program. We are targeting those individuals who have a high risk to reoffend and a high need of intervention or treatment. If we were to include individuals who do not require this level of intervention, we can actually see worse outcomes for the individual and an increase in reoffending. The research and data tells us that,” said Dan Wallis, Trial Court Administrator.
Offenders will pay for the monitoring, with a sliding scale available to help people who are indigent or who cannot afford the costs.