By BRIAN GRAVES
Scott Cranmore said the location of Tennessee Recovery and Monitoring to the new Bradley County Workhouse will make it the place where people will come and do their “due diligence” in repaying …
Scott Cranmore said the location of Tennessee Recovery and Monitoring to the new Bradley County Workhouse will make it the place where people will come and do their “due diligence” in repaying society for crimes committed and it can save money as it changes lives for the better.
Cranmore is the vice president of the company which has been in business, operating in Tennessee, for the past five years offering services from ankle monitoring to drug testing.
“We currently cover 25 of the 31 judicial districts in the state,” Cranmore said.
He said in 2016, the cost savings from having their services utilized have saved a total of $7.2 million.
“That is the difference from people being on monitors as opposed to them being in jail,” Cranmore said.
He notes that everyone is entitled to a bail bond.
“So, if they have a bond it may be higher,” Cranmore said. “We are not necessarily gauging on the charges as to what a monitor is relevant or irrelevant for. Mainly, we are seeing DUI charges as a key factor and seeing recidivism numbers reduced when used for domestic violence cases. We are able to alert the victim if the aggressor comes around. We take out the ‘he said, he said.’”
He said judges are mainly using the monitors as a “recovery tool” for DUI and drug offenses.
“We are seeing a 30 percent increase of offender eligibility to be released because of the monitor,” he said. “Maybe that person couldn’t make that $50,000 or $100,000 bond. But, judges may be able to reduce that bond by adding a monitor which is like a security. That can lower a bond and in some cases allow for monthly payments.”
Cranmore said using a monitor can also allow those who may be indigent to “the same opportunity to get out of jail as those who have money.”
“We were able to develop the indigent fund for monitors where the state will pay $200 per month per device on any person who the judge orders a monitor for and may be indigent,” he said. “You can now get the same treatment and tools for success as someone who has money and that is a huge deal.”
Cranmore said the program is seeing a 99.4 percent success where “they don’t drink and they don’t do drugs.”
“That’s basically been our motto for the past five years,” he said. “We believe we are the step before the ’12 Steps.’ Those programs are fabulous and they get individuals ready and prepared to take on the struggles of everyday life.”
“Before they can adhere to those steps, they have to be sober. That’s where we come into play,” he said. “We are helping people fight that urge because there is an ‘accountability stick’ there. There is an expectation, a measurement and then an accountability – especially on the pre-trial side of the judicial system.”
He explained if someone is incarcerated for a DUI or drugs the expectation is to not drink or do drugs,
“We monitor it through our ankle monitors or drug patch,” Cranmore said. “Then, if you mess up you know the accountability is you will get your bond revoked or condition of release changed and you are going back to jail. Nobody wants to do that. They want to be home with their families.”
In simple terms, the monitors forces a change in the patterns which lead to addiction thereby leading to people in deeper poverty and more crowded jails.
“We have signed a memorandum of understanding with Bradley County Probation after signing the lease for the space in the workhouse and we are very excited about that,” Cranmore said. “One of the things we can now do by partnering with them is we will be administering all of their random drug screens. We are implementing a full-blown drug screen program.”
He said it would take the equivalent of 10-15 people for the county to run such a program on its own.
“They have a caseload of 2,000 to 3,000 at a time,” Cranmore said. “With them having to ensure the probation orders are being followed and the fines are being paid, there is not enough time left in the day to administer the necessary drug screens.
He said all of the area judges are on board and supportive of the program.
“We are very proud to partner with [Probation Director] Rich Kienlen and his department,” Cranmore said. “We will be in court every Tuesday and Thursday to get people enrolled.”
“We want Bradley County to know we are trying to make a difference from an alcohol and drug recovery standpoint,” he said.
“That’s basically been our motto for the past five years. We believe we are the step before the ’12 Steps.’ Those programs are fabulous and they get individuals ready and prepared to take on the struggles of everyday life.” — Scott Cranmore
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