Alternative to Incarceration Essay

923 Words Feb 17th, 2015 4 Pages
Ever since the first prison opened in the United States in 1790, incarceration has been the center of the nation's criminal justice system. Over this 200 year period many creative alternatives to incarceration have been tried, and many at a much lower cost than imprisonment. It wasn't until the late 1980's when our criminal justice systems across the country began experiencing a problem with overcrowding of facilities. This problem forced lawmakers to develop new options for sentencing criminal offenders. Unlike jail or prisons, which create an expensive cycle of violence and crime, these alternatives actually prevent violence and strengthen communities. Community corrections programs provide many communities with local punishment options …show more content…
Another commonly used alternative is house arrest and confinement. This sanction restricts an individual to his or her residence for specific periods of time; in most house arrest programs offenders are allowed to leave their homes only for employment, medical needs, or mandated assignments such as community service or school. The emphasis of this program is on confinement, and the supervising officers' role is to ensure that the offender stays confined at home. There are three different levels of home confinement, each with a different degree of restricted freedom. The first is curfew which requires offenders to be in their residence during limited, specific hours, generally at night. The offender's movements outside of the curfew hours are unregulated. The second is home detention that requires offenders to remain at home at all times except for employment, education, treatment, or other pre-approved activities. This program may be with the assisted with electronic monitoring. The last level is home incarceration. This program requires offenders to remain at home at all times, with very limited exceptions for religious or medical purposes. At a minimum, offenders are subject to random contacts across all hours covered by the condition in order to verify compliance. Electronic monitoring is another widely used form of surveillance in which an electronic device is attached to an

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