24/7 Sobriety Programs – Immediate Sanctions, Lasting Effects
A 24/7 sobriety program – a law enforcement concept that began as a pilot program in South Dakota in 2005 – sets a standard of no use of alcohol and no use of illegal drugs as an ordered condition for: bond, post-sentence probation, work permits, parole, corrections and other special conditions. While on this program, participants remain in society, conducting their daily lives and fulfilling their responsibilities, as long as they comply with and pass rigorous ongoing sobriety testing.
Not all 24/7 monitoring programs are Evidence Based 24/7 Sobriety Programs. The data shows that 24/7 testing alone does not have the impact on long term behavioral change that you find when applying an Evidence Based 24/7 program.
An Evidence Based 24/7 Sobriety Program is designed to maintain sobriety for offenders of crimes that have a nexus to drug or alcohol use. The core premise of the Program is that in order to affect behavioral change, a consequence should be imposed immediately after a violation has occurred. It is believed that as the span of time between a non-compliant event and the sanction increases, the long term effect on behavioral change diminishes.
The 24/7 Program, in its simplest form, requires a program participant to submit to a breath alcohol test at a centralized location twice per day; approximately 12 hours apart. The participant – not the enrolling Agency – is responsible for the cost of the test ($2 per test, $4 per day). If the Participant tests clean, s/he can go about a normal day and go to school or work, be with his/her family, etc. If the Participant fails to submit to the test or fails the test because of the presence of alcohol, his/her bond (assuming he is coming from a court enrollment) is immediately revoked and s/he is taken directly to jail and waits to see a judge. The judge decides what steps to take next; re-institute 24/7 testing, increase supervision, enroll in treatment or incarcerate.
Often a developing program is sold technologies, by vendors that have little or no experience with 24/7 sobriety programs. Many of these technologies do not provide for the application of an immediate consequence. Home or Remote Monitoring, testing through Kiosks or even the use of Ignition Interlock devices offer self-testing alternatives, but do not offer an immediate response to a violation nor evidential grade results. If impacting recidivism rates are the goal of your program, in person twice a day testing is the proven methodology.
To date, the peer reviewed data has demonstrated that in programs where 85% of the participants were on the twice a day (2 x day) testing and 15% were tested with transdermal testing devices, long term recidivism rates substantially decreased.
Twice a day testing, administered by a third party, is a 24/7 Sobriety Program in its purest form, but in order to accommodate hardship cases, where Participants cannot get to and from a central testing location and maintain a job, schooling or a healthy family life, the program allows flexibility in the testing methodologies. To date, monitoring of alcohol use through a transdermal bracelet technology has been the preferred alternative alcohol detection methodology. While it is recognized that there are tradeoffs by using this technology as an alternate testing technique; transdermal alcohol detection provides a less timely application of the sanction for non-compliance , an alternate technology is required in most programs to accommodate a percentage of the participants on the program that cannot get to and from a central testing location.
For drug users the program also accommodates scheduled and random drug testing methodologies such as:
· Drug patch testing or
· Urine drug testing
24/7 sobriety programs that adopt the core components of the program are changing the criminal justice system wherever they have been implemented, resulting in fewer people incarcerated and more people able to move out of the cycle of recidivism. Hallmarks of this award-winning program include:
- Cost efficiency
- Reduction of jail and prison populations
- Enhancement of public safety, and
- Enabling more offenders to change self-defeating behaviors and stop re-offending
Intoximeters involvement began in 2005
Intoximeters became involved through South Dakota’s decision to use our instrumentation in their twice-a-day testing program. At first, we were merely a vendor supplying instruments and mouthpieces for breath alcohol testing. Today we are converts and are committed to telling the 24/7 story.
The right software is a critical component
As we assessed how we could help promote 24/7 and provide services and products to jurisdictions outside of South Dakota, we quickly realized that the software necessary to manage a comprehensive testing program was a critical component. Intoximeters, Inc. developed a web-based program with an engineered design that is user-friendly, scalable, access-layered, secure, fast and reliable. Our company mission is to be able to provide all of the 24/7 components to establish pilot programs and then assist jurisdictions in developing permanent programs with low-cost and participant-pay models.
As you review the information on our website you will see that we offer an alternative to traditional criminal justice systems. We can help you develop a 24/7 sobriety program for your city, county, region or state that:
- emphasizes accountability, reduces recidivism, and improves public safety
- supports DUI courts and drug courts
- can be used in private and public treatment facilities that support the courts’ efforts
- saves criminal justice dollars and tax dollars by using defender-pay models and by reducing jail and prison populations
We invite you to learn more about the 24/7 sobriety concept. Discover why 24/7 is growing in popularity, gaining worldwide attention, and making believers out of law enforcement experts who have seen the program in action.