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November 21, 2006

The future is now with technocorrections

Even since starting their great blog, the insightful folks at Corrections Sentencing have been stressing that the future is bright for "technocorrections" (see posts here and here).  In the wake of yesterday's article on alcohol detection devices for cars, I am ready to say the future is now for technocorrections.  Here is some more evidence:

  • My local paper, the Columbus Dispatch, today has this editorial urging that Ohio "require alcohol-detection devices on drunken drivers' cars."
  • From Montana, the Billings Gazette has this fascinating article entitled "New technology helps with tracking offenders."  Here are some details:

With the aid of electronic devices, supervisors at Alternatives Inc. in Billings are now able to monitor the travels of the people they supervise or receive hourly updates on whether drunk-driving offenders are using alcohol in defiance of bond requirements or sentencing guidelines....

In January, the nonprofit company became the first of three corrections-based companies in Billings to acquire Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitors, or SCRAMs. The 8-oz. devices are secured to an ankle bracelet and test a person's sweat every hour on a 24-hour basis. They also test for alcohol emissions and take additional tests to check for tampering.

When alcohol is detected, the bracelet sends a radio signal to a modem in the subject's home, which in turn transmits to a Web-based program monitored by Alcohol Monitoring Systems Inc. of Denver.  Case managers monitor the Web site to ensure participants are complying....

A second system - also new to Yellowstone County - was introduced in August.  The BI ExacuTrack combines a Global Positioning System with a radio transmitter to enhance tracking capabilities.  The transmitter is worn on an ankle bracelet throughout the day, as with traditional monitoring devices.  Offenders clip the GPS unit to a waistband or purse while leaving home.

That allows for tracking an offender while he or she goes about pre-approved business. The device will determine if someone has gone near a location prohibited as part of sentencing or treatment - an alleged victim's house, a tavern or school grounds, for example.  "We know they entered into an area they're not supposed to enter into, what time they entered and how long they were there," Clark said.

Some related posts:

November 21, 2006 at 12:13 PM | Permalink

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