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New Hanover County Announces Electronic Monitoring Services

Goal is to alleviate jail overcrowding.

by / September 17, 2003
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- The New Hanover County Electronic Monitoring Program, located in Wilmington, N.C., has completed a review of its services, which were implemented in January 2003.

The program provides for the supervised pretrial release of individuals facing nonviolent charges that are eligible, under state law, to be released from jail. In addition, the program closely monitors the release of certain individuals being jailed for failing to pay child support. The software combines electronic tracking technology, with the deployment of field staff, to help the courts ensure program participants are in compliance with any court orders for pretrial release or payment of child support.

During the eight-month period ending August 31, 2003, the Electronic Monitoring Program generated 7,232 utilization days representing $368,832 in jail cost-avoidance and also assisted local officials in substantially reducing the average daily jail population. For the same period, the direct cost of the program totaled $163,384, resulting in a net benefit to the county of $205,448.

According to Major David Stevenson of the New Hanover Sheriff's Department, utilization of the program from Reliant Monitoring Services also allowed his department to reduce the transportation and incarceration of inmates outside the county. "The increased use of electronic monitoring has greatly reduced our dependence on purchasing out-of-county beds at $45 per day, not to mention the staff time and transportation expense involved," he said.

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Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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