In July 8 Issue
As the world seems obsessed with the continuing travails of popular actress Lindsey Lohan and her "SCRAM Bracelet," a group of industrious professionals in Russell County are looking on in cautious curiosity.
"A lot of people think 'SCRAM' is a new thing," Mike West, Executive Vice-President, Premier Judicial Solutions said, but we've been involved in that technology for quite a while."
Premier Integrity Solutions, whose corporate headquarters is in Russell Springs, is an authorized SCRAM Service Partner.
The local company has been working as a Service Provider with the nationwide Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Inc. (AMS) to offer SCRAM in select counties throughout Kentucky.
SCRAM presentations have recently been made at the Kentucky Commonwealth Attorneys Training, and the Louisville Bar Association.
"We're meeting with new people almost every week," West said. "People are wanting to know more about it.
"As soon as they hear the word "SCRAM," they say, 'Oh yeah, I've been seeing that in the news.' "
The court system in Russell County has already experimented with SCRAM.
"It has been used here successfully," West said, "and we're hoping our county, along other counties, continue to embrace innovations such as SCRAM in the future."
Mark Cowell, Direcotor of Business Development, Premier Judicial Solutions, said awareness and interest about SCRAM is peaking.
"Recent items in the news have put the term "SCRAM" out ," he said, "and we're excited to educate the public about what it is, and what it does."
Cowell said SCRAM devices "utilize technology you may not even think is possible…but it it, it's out there, and it's working."
SCRAM, a "bracelet-like device" worn on a participant's ankle, provides 24/7 alcohol testing-with "readings" every 30 minutes.
By sampling "insensible perspiration," the device can show if an offender drank small, moderate, or substantial amounts of alcohol.
"And it's accurate, too," Cowell said.
The devices are quickly becoming a "win-win" for all involved.
"The device enables participants to work, pay taxes, and contribute to their community-all the time, being monitored," he said.
"Judges like the SCRAM Program because it addresses issues such as overcrowded prisons, the cost of incarceration, and it helps with overflowing caseload," Cowell said.
An estimated 80 percent of offenders paid their own SCRAM fees-and court costs-with no issues.
Studies show SCRAM's cost effectiveness is only one of it's many advantages.
SCRAM lowers "recidivism" (the repeating of an undesired action-such as drinking alcohol) by 45 percent.
A 2010 AMS study said nearly 90 percent of offenders said the SCRAM device helped them overcome alcoholism.
SCRAM devices can also be used to monitor participants' movements in house arrest situations.
"These devices are certainly the wave of the future," Cowell said. "You're going to be hearing more and more about them.
"It's already a household word."
Presently, over 1,800 courts in 49 states use the SCRAM program to ensure "high risk alcohol offenders" abstain from alcohol.
For more information about SCRAM, contact Premier Integrity Solutions at (800) 256-7141.