What is a SCRAM Bracelet?
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What is a SCRAM Bracelet?
A Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) bracelet is an electronic monitoring device that checks blood alcohol levels. It reads the wearer’s perspiration and reports blood alcohol levels. They can also be fitted with GPS locators to keep defendants on house arrest.
SCRAM bracelets can be assigned to a defendant on a pre-trial basis as a condition of being released on one’s own recognizance. It can also be a condition of a probation sentence, or of a deferred prosecution agreement.
In each case, avoiding all alcohol altogether is usually part of the defendant’s sentence. They may also be used in domestic violence or underage drinking cases.
Advantages of Accepting a SCRAM Bracelet
Accepting a bracelet could mean staying out of jail. If part of a deferred prosecution agreement, they can mean avoiding criminal charges altogether. That might mean keeping your job and your housing, and may help you keep your family together.
These particular bracelets were also designed to be unobtrusive, so they shouldn’t cause you problems due to stigma.
Finally, most defendants due complete SCRAM-based programs without incident. If you’re willing to do as the court demands and avoid alcohol, then they shouldn’t be much trouble.
Disadvantages of Accepting a SCRAM Bracelet
The device reports the results to a private company and alerts the courts if the wearer has violated the terms of their release or probation. The information collected by the SCRAM bracelet may also be used against you in later court proceedings.
In addition, you have to pay for them. You’re required to put down an $100 set-up fee and a $500 monthly monitoring fee. These devices, and devices like them, have been known to drive defendants into debt, or to create additional legal problems when defendants can’t pay.
Finally, they must be worn 24/7, and you’re required to charge them daily, which means you have to sit close enough to an outlet to charge them for the entire time they need to be charged.
Some critics call this a form of e-carceration, especially as you can be fitted with a bracelet prior to being convicted of any crime in cases where the wearing of them is required for pretrial release.
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