Luzerne County DRC and EM program save money, expand supervision options

BI Incorporated has helped several counties in Pennsylvania, including Cambria, Franklin and Luzerne, implement evidence-based alternatives to detention. In Luzerne, BI helped the county implement an electronic monitoring program as well as a day reporting center to address jail crowding and recidivism.

BI’s relationship with Luzerne County began in 1998 when County Probation sought to launch an electronic home monitoring program. BI continues to operate the program, handling all case management duties. This includes offender intake and orientation, check-ins when required, job-search supervision, fee assessment and collection, and managing offender schedules. BI monitors between 140 and 160 participants per day on GPS and electronic monitoring systems, including BI ExacuTrack® One and BI TAD®.

The majority of the technology costs are offset by fees offenders pay to participate in the program. BI charges participants a flat daily rate and applies a sliding scale for indigent individuals. Additionally, the program has saved the county $40 million in jail bed costs since 2002 by diverting offenders to community supervision.

With the success of the electronic monitoring program, Luzerne County selected BI to open and oversee operation of a day reporting center in 2010. Like the day reporting centers BI opened in Cambria and Franklin counties, Luzerne’s DRC has successfully alleviated jail crowding and reduced recidivism.

The center is equipped to manage 125 offenders at one time, including probationers, parolees, pretrial offenders and direct sentence offenders. The center currently treats approximately 90 offenders. Clients participate in a variety of evidence-based programs as well as cognitive behavioral therapy, which aims to change criminal behavior. Like the electronic monitoring program, the DRC has reduced costs associated with housing offenders in jail, saving the county an additional $4.6 million.