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  • Home detention program approved by Board of Supervisors

    Sep 01, 2015 | Read More News
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    PIMA COUNTY – On Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015, the Pima County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the creation of a home detention program for people convicted of misdemeanor driving under the influence charges.

    By allowing certain low-risk offenders to serve their sentence in the community, Pima County can expect to save tens of thousands of dollars in incarceration costs and perhaps delay a costly jail expansion, said Capt. Joshua Arnold of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

    Defendants with a history of violent offenses, missed court appearances and probation violations will not be eligible for the program, which will require participants to wear a GPS ankle monitor and use a camera-equipped alcohol-monitoring device, Arnold said.

    “We don’t want people on it who are doomed for failure,” Arnold said.

    The current daily cost to incarcerate someone is $85.15, while the daily cost to monitor someone with an ankle monitor is $15, Arnold said.

    GPS Monitoring Solutions will monitor defendants, but sheriff’s personnel will have the ability to track the participants as well, Arnold said.

    “The Sheriff’s Department is in charge of enforcement and we’ll be alerted right away if they blow positive on the alcohol-monitoring device or if they stray away from where they are allowed to go,” Arnold said.

    Although the number of misdemeanor DUI offenders who would be eligible for the program will fluctuate, Arnold anticipates hundreds will be placed in the program annually.

    Many of the defendants would likely participate in the county’s work release program anyway; now they will be monitored more closely, Arnold said.

    “We’ve long needed to rethink how our criminal justice system sentences low-risk offenders,” Pima County District 5 Supervisor Richard Elías said. “Frankly, alternative to detention programs benefit everyone because we’re able to keep low-level offenders working and providing for their families and kids.”

    The jail’s capacity is just over 2,000, but the average daily population is around 1,930, Arnold said.

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