Friday, October 28, 2011

Catching up

So sorry to anyone who is trying to learn more about SCRAM units from this blog, I know it's been nearly three months! Sorry. Anyway, I still don't care too much about this thing. In retrospect, the first couple weeks are the hardest. I felt claustrophobic at first having something on my body that I absolutely cannot take off without fear of significant reprisal. After getting used to it being physically there all the time, my greatest concern was of accidentally setting it off by inadvertently using some product with alcohol in it. After a couple months without any problems this fear has subsided some too. Finally, the social stigma of this thing is harsh. I wear pants everyday to conceal it but the problem has become that it gets water in it from showers and buzzes louder than any cell phone every time it takes a measurement (twice an hour). The alternative would be to wrap my leg up as if wearing a cast but I'm against that too for hygiene reasons. The buzz is so loud that it can be heard in an entire class or at work. If you have to wear one and work in a quiet environment then I suggest you take efforts to always keep it dry otherwise it WILL get loud. Other developments in three months? It stopped working about two months ago. I noticed that it hadn't buzzed all morning so I went in to the office and they said it was probably the battery. They changed the battery twice and it still didn't work but it wasn't any problem. They did not accuse me of tampering with it or anything like that. Instead they just called in to the reporting company and told them they were changing it out for another unit, which they did right there in the office without any hastles. I hope the softens any anxiety anyone might have about it malfunctioning and screwing you over. Another development? About six weeks ago I began to develop a rash where the main box of the bracelet sat on my ankle. This turned into an ulcer. I felt pretty frustrated that every brand of cortisone cream or hydrocortisone or anything else that might help had alcohol in it and of course I certainly could not apply that right next to my bracelet or anywhere else for that matter. I eventually asked them to switch the bracelet to my right ankle, which I didn't want to do because I thought it would be like starting over again as far as getting used to it being there. It wasn't so bad. I also thought it would interfere with riding my mountain bike being on my right ankle but it hasn't. The sore healed up and wasn't anything to write home about but it was a minor aggravation. Sorry I don't have a picture to post about that. In anycase, it's approaching my Dec. 8 court date which will be the six months mark for wearing this thing. If you remember I was assigned to wear it for a year and to complete 250 hours of community service. I'm hoping that with some character references from professors and a letter from the PO stating that I haven't violated the scram rules at all, plus also having completed roughly 190 hours of service as of now that they might take it off. At $300 a month, I really hope they will commute the sentence and take it off. I'll try to post more as I think of things but generally speaking I still feel the scram is bullsh*t although it is bearable and only temporary.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Not so bad

I've pretty much gotten used to the bracelet by now. So far no bruising, or rashes, or problems.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Not cool

Sorry for the delay, been busy. Anyway the bracelet takes a measure of the ethanol vapor on your skin and when it does, it vibrates. It takes about 3 or 4 seconds, about like a cell phone on vibrate. Problem is, now it makes a little noise when it takes it's reading, like an old cell phone. It has loosened up and is more comfortable to wear now, most of the time I don't even notice it. But now that it vibrates I actually got in trouble for disrupting class the other day. When I asked about it while I was getting it uploaded, they said, "Oh it probably has water in it." What the hell? The whole idea is that its supposed to be discreet. Until next time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Scram see? (in best mobster voice)

So far the bracelet is more of a mild  annoyance than a painful sort of thing. However the social and psychological ramifications are far greater.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So far, so...

Sleeping with it last night wasn't as much on an annoyance as I thought it might be. I find I notice it more when I take my clothes off, like to get in the shower and it feels weird not being physically able to remove something from your body. It reminds me of some medieval punishment like the Iron mask or something. "I wear the bracelet, THE BRACELET DOESN'T WEAR ME!!!!" Thats the man in the iron mask, incase no one gets the quote. I might have messed up earlier by spraying febreeze around the house because I am supposed to avoid contact with any products that contain alcohol, like most shampoos, body washes, deodorants, which is basically everything. I looked on the label and it doesn't list alcohol but I'm still ridden with anxiety about the hole thing. If it registers, then I have to go explain what made it register and basically my staying in compliance with my probation agreements are in the hands of some employee that gets to decide my fate at the drop of a hat depending on how his or her day is going and what mood their in  et cetera. Basically, I'm just scared to death of violating probation by coming into contact with some obscure source of alcohol and right now that part feels far worse than the actual wearing of the bracelet.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Freedom for sale

Freedom is not for everyone as we are lead to believe, but instead only a privilege for those who can afford it. To avoid a DUI charge (which in the state of TN, remains on your record permanently) I was offered the lesser charge of reckless-endangerment and in exchange, I have 250 hours of community service, a year of unsupervised probation, and to wear the SCRAM bracelet for a year.  I have no problem with this plea bargain except that the scram bracelet costs $100 to put on and $300 a month for as long as you wear it. So for a year that puts the total cost at $3700. As a country that hosts 5% of the worlds population but 25% of its prisoners, their is no wonder why the scram bracelet is alluring to court systems. It cuts down on the prison population while making the injustice system money instead of burdening the budget. After all, why budget the state when they can budget out-of-work class? After going to the city county building (knox county court) so many times, one begins to get a generalized picture of those who find themselves in front of a judge. In my experience with the division of criminal court I was in, more often than not it seems like most are hardworking people who have had a lapse of judgement, probably caused by the stresses of survival--the stresses of trying to simply exist while supporting the ones we love. I count myself very fortunate to have a family that is helping me pay for some of these costs, but for most people, an extra $300 a month simply isn't in the budget and could even keep food off the table. the makers of the scram bracelet list on their website that the typical length of wearing one of their units is 90-120 days yet Knox county routinely assigns sentences  of 12, 18, or even 24 months. I don't know what their true motive might be although, I'm sure we can all imagine what their pre-prepared politically correct statement might be, but from where I'm sitting it looks like they are just making money. Anyway, until next time...

It's on like genghis kahn wearing sean jon in bouton

Yes I'm an Office fan but I got it on now and it's okay.