Successful achievement of program requirements will often lead to a dropping or reduction of the charges while failure may bring back or enhance the penalties that are involved. Charges dismissed because of a diversion program will still lead to additional criminal history points under the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines if there was a finding of guilt by a court or the defendant pleaded guilty or otherwise admitted guilt in open court, provided that the deferred disposition was not a juvenile matter (Diversion Programs: An Overview, 1999).
Alternative to Incarceration Programs (ATIs) are part of the mix of factors that have allowed the City to reduce crime, reduce jail and prison populations, and help individuals and neighborhoods across the City. As an alternative to sentencing someone to jail or prison, ATIs permit a judge to sentence someone to a program where they obtain treatment, education and employment training in the community, all while enduring strict supervision. If people do not do well in these programs, the court still has the choice of sentencing them to incarceration. Studies by the nations leading criminal justice researchers have shown that ATIs reduce jail time, and successfully treat people in the community without compromising public safety. All the while, ATIs are meeting the diverse needs of the people they serve, while building up the quality of life of the Citys most challenged communities (Alternative to Incarceration Programs: Cut Crime, Cut Costs, Help People and Communities, n.d.).
There are many benefits to using ATIs, not only for the offenders but for the community as well. There are many available options that courts have to use in order to reduce overcrowding while effectively managing costs at the same time. In todays society both of these things are very important to most communities.
Serious crime in on the rise and there is not enough available jail space to be had. Utilizing alternatives to incarceration for those who have been convicted on minor offenses is a great way to free up badly needed jail space. Even though there are several alternative options already available there is continuing research being done into other viable options that might be used in the future.
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