Use of sobriety testing/bracelets instead of custody where alcohol is a significant factor in criminal activities

Quite a few people end up in prison for criminal behaviour they have been convicted of doing while under the influence of alcohol. Where alcohol (and their inabiliy to refrain from consuming it) is demonstrably the critical factor in their criminal behaviour, and if the convicted consent to abstain from further consumption of alcohol, put an electronic tag on the person to constantly test for alcohol consumption and report breeches of their licence terms at least in first convictions. These people can then serve their sentence in the community (community services etc, including after work) and thus will not necessarily stop their normal job or contribution to the tax base. People who are found to have consumed alcohol despite the sobriety tag, or who decline to accept it, can go to prison in the normal way.

Prison officers will tell you that no matter how much they try, substance abuse continues within prison walls. Many a time I have found what were belligerant drunks to be extremely ashamed of their behaviour once sober, and extremely well behaved while sober. An electronic monitor and the threat of custodial sentence may help some stay sober when they do not have the ability to abstain on their own.

Why the contribution is important

When a person is in prison they can't maintain their earnings which means their taxable income is likely to fall. The costs of keeping a person in prison must be far greater than the cost of having a well behaved (because of being sober) person outside prison.

by OldSailor on April 12, 2017 at 03:27PM

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