St. Lawrence County to Begin Electronic Monitoring Program

Today marks the first day that the St. Lawrence County Probation Department will begin implementing their electronic monitoring program.  Defendants will be able to avoid jail pretrial by submitting to electronic monitoring.  The county received a $196,596 grant from the Division of Criminal Justice Services to use 39 devices each year.  The probation department will implement use of four different devices: an alcohol monitoring bracelet, a GPS device, house arrest bracelet and a combination house arrest and alcohol monitoring device.

Under their plan medium to high-risk offenders will be subject to house arrest.  The judge and district attorney must agree to the pretrial release, although the judge can overrule the prosecution’s refusal.  The defendant will then be supervised 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by the probation department.  Combination bracelets that monitor alcohol consumption and home confinement would be used for felony drunk drivers.  This will ensure that they are remaining sober while awaiting trial.  Overall it helps to reduce the overcrowded jail system and helps people stay a contributing part of society.  St. Lawrence jails were spending a large portion of money housing defendants in other counties to alleviate their system.  The grant allows them to save nearly $1 million a year in jailing costs.

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