Alternative sentencing is defined as an alternative to incarceration. It is a conditional sentence that includes community service, treatment, or supervision. Once an individual has been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, they can plead guilty or not guilty. If they plead guilty, the judge decides what sentence will be appropriate for the crime. If they plead not guilty, they are tried in a trial, and a jury or a judge makes a decision.
Many defendants are competent to stand trial, but their attorneys have them plead guilty because they do not want them to receive a harsh sentence. Once an individual has been found guilty of a crime, the judge will decide an appropriate sentence based on different factors. With alternative sentencing, individuals get a chance to start a new sober life with a positive perspective.
Why Is Alternative Sentencing Important?
According to reports, there are high chances (65.3%) that the court will order an alternative program for the offender to allow them to improve. Almost 21% of the crimes are committed due to the involvement of drugs. Thus, this program becomes a practical choice for authorities to deal with offenders.
This program is essential because it allows an individual convicted of a crime to learn sober. It also gives the person the opportunity to work through their addiction problems with professional help. Many addicts and alcoholics can get into trouble because of their substance abuse, but the consequences become worse than they ever imagined when they begin using again.
It gives the individual a chance to start their lives with an existing support system rather than isolation. As a result, they can remain sober and work through their addiction problems without further damaging themselves or others.
Community service is also beneficial to those who go through alternative sentencing. It allows them to give back to the community and become better people once the program is over. They can start to repair damaged relationships and work on their problems while still giving back to the community.
How Does It Work?
Many alternative programs are effective because of the close supervision of an officer. This person will monitor their volunteer work, make sure they go to all scheduled appointments, and check-in with their family members. The officer will also conduct random drug tests to ensure the person stays sober.
In some programs, individuals must be drug tested once a week or more often, depending on their situation. Depending on the program and what they need, they may also be required to attend several group counseling sessions per week or monthly.
After a brief waiting period, those who complete their court-ordered alternative program are given a chance to expunge their criminal record. For example, if they were sentenced to community service, their record is cleared of the offense.
Alternative sentencing has proven effective because it allows an individual who has committed a crime to go through their recovery process. They are allowed to work on their addiction problems and learn how to be sober without inflicting further damage on themselves or others.
Is This Program Safe?
The best thing about alternative sentencing is that it does not jeopardize society. In traditional court systems, the defendant will receive a sentence and be told what they must do to repay their crime.
On the other hand, the individual is tested throughout their sentence in an alternative program. They must prove that they can stay sober and work towards a better life for themselves and those around them. It is safer because it doesn’t leave the defendant open to harming others.
Contact Us Today!
Want to know more about alternative sentencing? Get in touch with Glendora Recovery Center at (626) 240-5056 to speak to our health experts.