This is also known as "House Arrest," and involves wearing an ankle bracelet that electronically monitors the whereabouts of the wearer. Usually, arrangements can be made for the wearer to go to work or school (grocery etc), so long as they are on a "regular work schedule do they leave in the morning and are home by an appointed time. There usually is a supervisory cost (per day) associated with this option which is borne by the defendant.
This involves working at a site determined by the Probation Department. The participant works there during the day (usually picking up trash) for an eight hour shift, and gets to go home at night to sleep. Normally you can select the days of the week you can devote to work release, even weekends. However if you have a large number of days to do you may be required to do a minimum of two or three days a week.
This option allows the participant to keep their own job; however, they return to a dormitory style facility to sleep at night (so you sleep at jail). They are released to go to work during the day. Weekends are spent in jail.
Alcohol or Drug Rehabilitation
Sometimes a DUI or drug-related arrest is merely the unfortunate symptom of an underlying addiction issue. A skilled defense attorney will know how to obtain this type of relief for their clients as an alternative to jail, and prevail upon a judge to allow this as an alternative not only to custody but even as to fines. This needs to be a residential program (where you are NOT free to leave until the program is completed), for the court to consider it as an alternative to jail.
For those that are multiple offenders, or have a drug or alcohol problem that has not responded to past attempts at treatment, sober living is sometimes the best alternative. These are houses, both for men and women, where all of the residents are sober. The structure of each house will vary, but residents are usually required to attend a 12-Step meeting daily, participate in house groups and functions, and perform a household chore. In addition to allowing the participant to avoid a lengthy jail stay, sober living environments have helped many improve the quality of their lives. Usually the Judge will not accept this option as an alternative to jail as it is not a residential program.
Note that for actual jail, as well as work furlough and electronic monitoring, you would be entitled to credits (such as "good time") which would allow you to reduce your actual days in custody, usually by up to one third. So on a sentence of 30 days with these credits applied you would actually do only 20 days. However these credits may not be available if you the choose work release program or a residential treatment program.
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