From left, Jennifer Wilson, Robert McKinnon (Innovative Monitoring Network), Stephanie McGuffee, Bridgette Roberts, Judge James E. Stewart Sr., Shelby Cage (Innovative Monitoring Network), Michelle Long (Innovative Monitoring Network) and Consuella Henson, at the presentation of a framed copy of the prestigious SCRAM Systems national case study of the DA’s pretrial diversion program, which uses SCRAM technology, in a ceremony Monday, April 30, 2018, at Judge Stewart’s offices. Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office photo by John Andrew Prime
The nation’s leading alcohol monitoring company has honored the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s office by selecting its pretrial diversion program as a model program.
The program, established by Caddo Parish District Attorney James E. Stewart Sr., is cited as a case study by Colorado-based SCRAM Systems, whose alcohol monitoring technology is used in the program.
“It’s been one of the best things we have to help people help themselves,” said Stewart, a retired district and state judge who was elected as district attorney in 2015. “SCRAM is an effective way to help us help them. It helps individuals help themselves and it’s all user paid.”
A framed copy of the case study that now is posted on the company website was presented to Judge Stewart in a ceremony Monday, April 30, 2018, at the DA’s offices in downtown Shreveport. Administrative and support staff joined him for the presentation, made by SCRAM’s Shreveport affiliate, Innovative Monitoring Network.
The Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Pretrial Diversion Program offers lower-risk defendants to take part in comprehensive rehabilitation. It offers defendants a second chance while holding them accountable for their offense.
The diversion program, which averages nearly 500 participants each a year, helps defendants understand the impact of their actions and choose a better path. Participants must pay court fees and restitution, make progress toward educational goals, attending MADD victim impact panels, attend counseling and behavior classes and report to the program monthly. Nearly 90 percent of participants complete the program.
“This is a big honor,” said Shelby Cage, with Innovative Monitoring Network. He said the Caddo program was singled out from others from SCRAM’s more than 1,000 affiliates across all 50 states and five English-speaking countries. “This program was selected for its success rates, the way the staff runs it and compliance.”
Cage said “Judge Stewart had the foresight to see the technology and utilize it to help people actually make life changes. It’s a great thing that helps cut down on repeat DUIs and gives people a second chance if it is selected in their program. It’s a win-win for everybody involved.”
The technology and the diversion program it makes possible gives offenders a chance to free themselves from the addictions that contribute to the cycle of lawbreaking that can ruin their lives.
“We’ve had people say ‘this is the first time in my life I’ve been off alcohol this long'” Judge Stewart said. “It really has changed their lives.”
The technology helps in ways beyond mere monitoring of alcohol use.
“The GPS devices are great,” Judge Stewart noted. “It helps in protecting victims of domestic violence when court-ordered. When courts tell somebody ‘You can’t be within x miles or feet of somebody, they have an effective way of tracking them and notifying law enforcement when they violate it. That make victims feel more safe.”
Innovative Monitoring Network works closely with the Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office and has monitored 210 of the program’s participants since January 2017. Participants pay for their monitoring, which allows them to remain in the community while ensuring they aren’t drinking and endangering the public.
SCRAM’s flagship Continuous Alcohol Monitoring (CAM) technology, launched in 2003, revolutionized the way courts, agencies and treatment providers monitor and manage alcohol-involved offenders. The company’s full suite of electronic monitoring technologies includes SCRAMRemote Breath®, SCRAM GPS®, and SCRAM House Arrest®.
“We have a gentleman who’s been battling addiction since 2000,” Cage noted. “He says this continuous alcohol monitoring is the best deterrent he’s come across.”
The full case study is available online at https://www.scramsystems.com/
For more information on SCRAM Systems and monitoring technologies, contact Shelby Cage at Innovative Monitoring Network, 5916 Fairfield Ave., Suite B, Shreveport, LA 71106, or call him at (318) 216-4996, ext.1.