Over the years, we have heard many Judges express their concerns about seeing the same defendants over and over again or sentencing a defendant to jail time only to watch them drive out of the parking lot about the same time Court is finished. With recidivism rates increasing and jail availability decreasing, Courts are in need of alternative sentencing solutions through private probation services. In Arkansas, Electronic monitoring provides an effective alternative to incarceration and is known to reduce recidivism.
Effectiveness of Electronic Monitoring
Barrasse, Judge Michael. "Promising Sentencing Practice No. 6." 10 PROMISING SENTENCING PRACTICES. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 16 March 2004. Web. 30 Jun 2010.
A study conducted in Los Angeles County, California, which evaluated how electronic monitoring affects recidivism, cost, and effectiveness among repeat DWI offenders, found that the recidivism rate of those offenders in the electronic monitoring program was one-third lower (one year after entering the program) than the rate for those offenders who were incarcerated, and that the cost saving to the county was significant: it saved approximately $1 million in jail costs. The cost of electronic monitoring averaged $15 per day for each offender and this cost was paid by the offenders themselves.69
A seven-year evaluation of an electronic monitoring program in Palm Beach County, Florida, for repeat DWI offenders, showed that electronic monitoring was an effective alternative to incarceration: 85 percent of participants successfully completed the program at a price of approximately one-third the cost of jail.70 Another study which compared DWI offenders sentenced to electronic monitoring with a control group sentenced to incarceration found no significant differences in the recidivism rates of the two groups.71
Private Probation Services
ProTrac provides private probation services that ensure the Courts that their sentencing will be carried out. ProTracâ€™s Arkansas electronic monitoring program and probation programs are easy to set up. The Court simply completes the Electronic Monitoring Order or Conditions of Probation Order at the time of sentencing and faxes a copy to the ProTrac office. The defendant is given the pink copy of the Order, which has instructions for the defendant to follow printed on the back. ProTrac will enroll and supervise the defendant based on the permitted activities marked by the Court. Enrollment and completion reports are forwarded to the Court along with any violation notifications. In addition, ProTrac may be available on Court dates to complete any appropriate paperwork, saving your Court Staff time. Our private probation services include monitoring your court docket and always providing proper forms to hold on the bench for the Judgeâ€™s immediate access to expedite the Court session.
69 See Jones, R.K., et al., â€śEvaluation of Alternative Programs for Repeat DWI Offenders,â€ť DOT 808 493, pp. 39-66 (October 1996).
70 See Lilly, J. Robert, et al., â€śElectronic Monitoring of the Drunk Driver: A Seven-Year Study of the Home Confinement Alternative,â€ť Crime and Delinquency, Vol. 39, pp. 462-484 (October 1993).
71 See Courtright, Kevin E., et al., â€śRehabilitation in the New Machine? Exploring Drug and Alcohol Use and Variables Related to Success Among DUI Offenders Under Electronic Monitoringâ€”Some Preliminary Outcome Results,â€ť International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, Vol. 44, No. 3, pp. 293-311 (2000).