Alternative Sentencing is a sentencing program that is an alternative to
jail. The judge may use this alternative sentencing program to deliver
an appropriate punishment and one the prosecutor will accept. The judge
or prosecutor will not accept just any alternative sentencing program.
In California, common alternative sentencing programs include: house arrest
or electronic monitoring, work release programs, rehabilitation programs,
drug court and weekends in private jail. Eligibility for alternative sentencing
is limited, for example,
- The defendant must not have not committed the ‘worst' crimes
and cannot have a mandatory sentence imposed on him/her
- The defendant cannot have committed numerous crimes
- The defendant cannot have committed a serious felony, with or without the
use of a weapon
- The defendant cannot pose a risk to him or herself or the community
An alternative sentence is also called an “alternative sanction.”
Click here for more information on House Arrest.