Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson

Alternative Sentencing Department Overview

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In 1983 the Sheriff's Office implemented the Alternative Sentencing program to find cost effective ways to impose sentences on lesser offenders. The Alternative Sentencing programs give the courts different options to impose judicially mandated sentences in ways that maintain community safety and require offenders to "pay back the community" through community based work.

Between 1983 and 1992, Alternative Sentencing was housed in several different county facilities, including the basement of the County courthouse and Community Corrections.

In 1992, Alternative Sentencing was moved to a new addition to the current Jail.

In 2010, although still located in the same building, the Alternative Sentencing Unit was moved out from under the Sheriff's Office Division to the Criminal Justice Services Division as the Alternative Sentencing Department.

In 2012, Alternative Sentencing moved into their new facility located at 2307 Midpoint Drive.

Today a staff of 65 civilian staff facilitate six different programs:

  • Pretrial Services – Intake and Supervision units that provide the court with information to adequately determine level of pretrial release supervision and conditions.
  • Work Release – A residential program in which offenders are encouraged to maintain employment and live at the facility when not working.
  • Workenders – Offenders report to the facility on Saturday and Sunday to perform community service on work crews supervised by Alternative Sentencing staff.
  • Midweeks – Offenders report to the facility on Tuesday and Wednesday to perform community service on work crews supervised by Alternative Sentencing staff.
  • Electronic Home Detention – Offenders are monitored electronically by ankle bracelet and/or GPS tracking while serving their sentence in their approved home. Alternative Sentencing staff conduct frequent home checks on EHD clients.
  • Community Service – This is the only Alternative Sentencing program that does not have a jail sentence attached to it. The court orders offenders to complete hours of service and Alternative Sentencing staff manage and assign the offenders' service hours.

Offenders assigned to Alternative Sentencing programs are also required to pay administrative fees to help reduce the cost of criminal justice services to taxpayers. Alternative Sentencing programs cost an estimated $37/day per person whereas incarceration at the County Jail is estimated at $118/day.

From the Spring of 2016 to the Spring of 2017, the Workender and Midweek offender crews have completed 29,253 hours of service to 501c3 non-profit and tax-supported agencies in Larimer County, saving the community over $253,000 in labor costs.

For the Community Service program in 2016, offenders performed 116,820 hours of court-ordered service in Larimer County, saving the community over $970,000 in labor costs.

Background Image: Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson. All rights reserved.