Multiple California Counties Utilize SCRAM to Monitor Defendants in Pretrial Release
Jail overcrowding is a problem throughout California and across the country. In an effort to relieve overcrowding and save taxpayers money, jurisdictions throughout the state have looked to pretrial monitoring alternatives. Several counties in California including Fresno, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Orange, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Yolo Counties have implemented the use of SCRAM Continuous Alcohol Monitoring technology. These devices are worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a given monitoring period. Tens of thousands of defendants are monitored every single day across the state.
SCRAM stands for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor. The device is worn on the ankle and monitors alcohol intake through the sweat excreted on the skin. SCRAM bracelets can be worn while working out and showering but must not be completely submerged in water. The devices are tamper-proof. Any attempts to remove the bracelet or prevent it from taking a reading are immediately reported to the supervising agency. Failure to comply with the terms of release or probation can result in additional punishments through the criminal court systems.
SCRAM devices have allowed detention agencies across the United States to ease overcrowding. Less people are waiting in jail pretrial where SCRAM and other monitoring devices are used. These programs also allow participants to maintain a normal life, working and staying with their family. Continuous alcohol monitors can be worn in conjunction with house arrest or GPS monitoring which allows law enforcement to monitor a defendant’s whereabouts for the duration of the release or probation period.