There are alternatives to a prison sentence. There are many community based programs that help with overcrowding and supply services to the community.
Community Based Programs
The work release program will allow the inmate to work in the community when they are at the end of their sentence. The work release program will help prepare the inmate for return to the community. The inmate can stay at a residential facility or return to the jail when the work day is over. The inmate will earn income that will be placed in savings to prepare to start a new life outside of the jail. The inmate can be responsible for a portion of the confinement costs.
Weekend sentencing can be used for minor offenders. The offenders that have committed minor offenses and have gainful employment would be allowed to work during the week. The offender would return to the jail on weekends to serve a designated sentence. The inmate is allowed to continue working at their current job and would be responsible for a portion of their confinement costs.
Community service is beneficial to the community. Community service can be used for minor offenses. The minor offenses can be punished by free services to better the community. The community service workers will be supervised and placed at government agencies or non-profit organizations. The community service worker can complete tasks such as cleaning area parks, washing police cars, painting, and janitorial services. The goal is for the offender to give back to the community they have offended. Community service assists many communities with labor they normally could not afford to pay for.
The non-violent offenders can be sentenced to home arrest or confinement at their residence. The offenders would be allowed to leave the residence for work or medical appointments. Workers would be assigned to the offender. Home arrest allows the offender to continue gainful employment but remain off the streets all other times of the day. The offender would be responsible for costs associated with this program along with restitution and fines.
Electronic monitoring can work in conjunction with house arrest or home confinement. The electronic monitoring device is attached to the offender and used to monitor the offenders location at all times of the day. The offender would be allowed to work and to go to designated appointments. The offender would have to file a schedule with the monitoring service. The schedule would be adhered to or further punishment would be required. The offender would be responsible for costs associated with electronic monitoring along with restitution and fines.
Probation is used for offenders that are eligible. Probation allows the offender to remain in the community and complete certain assigned programs and treatment plans. The failure to complete the programs and treatment plans would result in incarceration. The offender on probation would have to remain crime free for a designated period of time. Failure to remain crime free would result in the offender being incarcerated. Probation would be successful for drug and alcohol offenders that need treatment programs. The offender on probation would have to complete all programs that are assigned along with paying costs, restitution and fines.