with the technology and who can react to flaws in the system. "There are glitches that develop," he said. "We came in one morning and the kiosk [at the department] had spit the receipt paper all over the floor. It was a 600-foot roll."


Check-In, which sells for about $50,500 with installation and training, includes:

A 486 server with a minimum of 4 megabytes of RAM, a 200 megabyte hard disk, a 3.5" floppy drive, and a VGA display monitor, operating over a Novell network with appropriate software.

A 486 enrollment workstation with a minimum of 8 megabytes of RAM, a 200 megabyte hard disk, a 3.5" floppy drive, a VGA monitor, network adapter, software, biometric scanner, laser printer and report generator.

A kiosk containing a 486 computer with a minimum 4 megabytes of RAM, 100 megabyte hard disk, 3.5" floppy drive, VGA touch-screen monitor, network adapter, software, biometric scanner, receipt printer (so the probationer can have tangible proof of the digital encounter), English and Spanish touch screen buttons, and audio instructions (in both languages) for illiterate or confused clients.

The system can be leased, or billed on a transactional basis, according to how often it is used. Rates are negotiable, but per transaction costs generally run between $2 to $4. It also can be expanded to accommodate any size of department, with additional kiosks costing about $35,000 each and registration stations running at $12,000 each. Kiosks also can be equipped with breath analyzers ($3,500) that passively determine alcohol presence during use of the kiosk, a video recorder ($3,000), an electronic camera, a credit card reader to collect restitution payments, and a secure, software-controlled housing to collect cash or check payments (price to be determined at time of purchase). A portable unit consisting of a notebook computer, biometric scanner, electronic camera, breath alcohol sensor, battery and AC power supplies can be purchased for about $25,000.