It is now possible for probation officers to detect probationer alcohol use remotely and continuously. This essay describes three devices intended to collect Drug and alcohol use Information from REmote and Continuous Testing, or what the author calls DIRECT surveillance. It also highlights some of the major questions associated with the implementation, consequences, and future of DIRECT surveillance. While most of the focus is on alcohol use among probationers and parolees, the essay does discuss the use of these technologies in other settings, and for other drugs. It also addresses issues related to other types of electronic monitoring which can be used separately or in conjunction with DIRECT surveillance (e.g., GPS).
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