Letter to the Editor
It seems that at least once a month the subject of new jails and detention centers is a subject in newspapers and other media. One way to keep a lid on the overcrowding is to be more open to the idea of using home monitoring for DUI and DWI defen...
It seems that at least once a month the subject of new jails and detention centers is a subject in newspapers and other media.
One way to keep a lid on the overcrowding is to be more open to the idea of using home monitoring for DUI and DWI defendants.
The biggest problem I see with sending these men and women to jail instead of being on home monitoring is threefold.
1. During incarceration, there is a lot of idle time for the jailed. Some can get out to work on the Huber Law during normal work hours/days but that isn't always the case.
This idle time, as the saying goes, "is the devil's workshop." Being away from the family and not bringing in a paycheck causes more problems than the people had to start with. Anger, frustration and loneliness can be a vicious cycle. Then, when released, the jailed have had no "practice" at leading a day-to-day existence without alcohol.
2. It's often the primary income producer who is jailed, which then brings the possibility of the family needing the services of the county. This also is a source of anger and frustration and loss of pride to the people left at home. This can build, if the term of incarceration is long enough, to divorce, which can lead to more social service money needed.
3. While in jail, the person doesn't lead a "normal" life with daily interaction with family. Social events are nil. With home monitoring, the accused can lead a life that is possibly better than the one he/she lead before the arrest, by working and interacting with their family and peers while remaining sober. He/she has to be home and sober to receive calls, at set hours, from the monitoring center ... and yes, through the telephone the monitor can "smell" alcohol. When that happens, I believe treatment or jail is the answer, not before.
I do believe people should pay the consequences when they have been arrested and found guilty. The costs of home monitoring are paid by the one being monitored. The schedule allows for one to go to work and be a part of society, seven days a week.
The addicted have a cross to bear, but I believe their families bear one even heavier.
I know that not everyone who gets a ticket for DUI is an addict, but I'd be surprised to hear of any family anywhere that doesn't have a friend or relative that is a worry to them because of alcohol.
Home-monitoring could save families through having a sober, working person instead of a jailed one who comes home, in debt and maybe without a family intact and waiting, only for the cycle to begin again.