How House Arrest Eases Jail Overcrowding

A Cost-Effective, Flexible Solution to an Ongoing Problem


Overcrowding in our jail and prison systems is a continuing problem throughout the country. The problem was highlighted when the Coronavirus took hold in early 2020 and wreaked havoc throughout the incarcerated population. Many jurisdictions have turned to alternative solutions that ease overcrowding while still providing supervision.

SCRAM systems has monitored over 22,000 people through house arrest. The new house arrest bracelet offers a waterproof design, allowing participants to live a more normal life while they are being monitored. It also has multiple anti-tamper systems. The state-of-the-art technology makes it extremely difficult to “beat the system.” This ensures that participants are complying with court orders.

House Arrest Cost Savings

House arrest also provides cost savings to taxpayers. In many cases, offenders pay the cost of house arrest, relieving some of the burdens on the city, county, and state jail systems. According to the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, it costs around $81,203 per year to incarcerate an inmate in the state. Broken down, that means each day it costs over $200. 

The California Legislative Analyst’s Office notes that the main costs are for security, inmate health care, facility operations, and administration. Furthermore, the state had to provide “additional prison capacity to reduce prison overcrowding.”

House arrest is a fraction of the cost and is usually covered by the defendant. Not only are there savings for taxpayers, but it eases the already overburdened jail and prison system by preventing new facilities from having to be built.

Additional Benefits

In addition to being cost-effective, house arrest provides a better chance for an offender to stay a contributing member of society. Low-risk offenders may be able to continue working or searching for employment. It is flexible and can be tailored to meet the individual needs of the offender.