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Grundy County Commissioners granted a motion during their monthly meeting on November 25 to extend an ankle monitoring pilot program that was created earlier this year to help address a major overcrowding problem in the county jail.
Representatives from Tennessee Recovery and Monitoring (TRM), a local monitoring service provider, were in attendance at Monday’s meeting and presented Commissioners with statistics showing that the county has saved taxpayers more than $45,000 by utilizing monitoring technology as an alternative to housing offenders.
Chief Deputy Greg Higgins told the commission that he has witnessed a noticeable positive impact during the six-month program, including reduced workloads for jail staff and improved accountability for defendants that are released on bond. However, Commissioner Emily Partin said that she would like to review more information before making a final decision on approving implementation of the monitoring program beyond February 2014.
According to representatives of TRM, the pilot program began in July of this year after County Mayor Lonnie Cleek reached out to their company in an effort to reduce severe jail overcrowding. At that time, booking officers reported that the inmate population had grown to more than twice the jail’s legal capacity. TRM has since provided the Sheriff’s Office with GPS, alcohol and drug monitoring devices that serve as proven alternatives to pretrial incarceration, sources say.
TRM Director Scott Cranmore said that his company’s monitors are being used throughout the state to hold offenders accountable with high success rates. “We’ve received a lot of positive support from Judge Anderson, Mayor Cleek and the Sheriff’s Department. With their continued help, TRM hopes to grow the program further while continuing to change lives, increase public safety and save taxpayer dollars in Grundy County,” Cranmore said.
Tennessee Recovery and Monitoring is a locally owned and operated monitoring service provider based in Hamilton County. For more information on how monitoring technology can benefit your community, visit their website at http://www.tnalcoholmonitoring.com.