A sentence may involve just one or numerous elements in a criminal case; including serving time in jail or prison, probation, restitution, and/or community service.
In the State of Colorado, Alternative Sentencing Programs are offered to allow offenders the ability to maintain their employment or education status while serving a sentence from the court. There are various forms of alternative sentencing including:
Alternative Sentencing Programs
Work Release Program
An individual is permitted to go to work and participate in other pre-approved activities, and at all other times must be incarcerated at a jail facility.
Work Search Program
The work search program provides the offender the opportunity to search for employment while serving a jail sentence. This program must be authorized by the court and is based off the work release program.
Work Crew Program
Jail sentences are served by working on a day work crew, during which specific tasks are assigned and performed. Sleeping at home is allowed.
Home Detention and/or Electronic Home Monitoring
Home detention is a major alternative to incarceration and in compliance with probation. One must remain at home, monitored by an electronic ankle bracelet. In some cases, when approved by the court, individuals are able to leave their home for tasks such as work. This can also include a breath machine at your home or a bracelet that automatically tests for alcohol in your sweat.
Multiple Offender DUI Program (MOD or MOPS)
A three-phase program for those meeting the Work Release Program and could benefit from drug or alcohol treatment. Each phase is twelve weeks and includes work release. In-home detention is possible after completing the first two phases if treatment is deemed successful. (Depending on the county, differing programs are used. Each county maintains a similar program.)
Ignition Interlock Systems
This program is required by the DMV, not the court. There is an overlap between The Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the court. It’s very confusing to most. If you are over a 0.08 breath test or blood test, or you refuse a test, the police will take your license and require that you request a hearing to get your license back. If you do not request the hearing within 6 days of the notice, you will be agreeing to lose your driving privileges in Colorado (if you take a blood test, the results will not be known at the time and you will receive a mailed notice to your LAST known mailing address from the DMV).
The DMV will have a hearing where you will likely lose and the DMV will keep your license and suspend your privilege to drive. You will be required to install an interlock device in your vehicle if you want your license back early. Even if you win your DMV hearing the DMV may still require this.
If you win your DMV hearing, but go to court and get convicted of too many points, the DMV will still require you to install an Ignition Interlock System in the car for having TOO MANY POINTS. The Offender is required to install breathalyzer devices (“ignition interlocks”) in their cars so that their cars will not start unless the offender blows into the device and has “clean” breath (after drunk driving convictions). These devices can also be installed in a person’s home where they are required to blow “clean” breath at certain hours of the day.
Private Jail Institutions
These jails are administered by private contractors for a fee which they charge both governments and inmates.
Who is Eligible for Alternative Sentencing?
These options to alternative sentencing vary from county to county. Talk to an attorney about what options are available for your specific case.
The court does NOT decide who gets many of these options. The court decides if you are approved to be screened for many of these programs. For example in Arapahoe County, the Judge can approve you to be screened for work release, but the Sheriff’s Office decides who is approved and who is rejected into their work release program. Only those individuals who have been referred by the court should fill out the Alternative Sentencing Program application.
- Denver County Alternative Sentencing application
- Jefferson County Alternative Sentencing information
- Arapahoe County Alternative Sentencing application
- Adams County Alternative Sentencing information
- Boulder County Alternative Sentencing Programs
The Alternative Sentencing Program may allow offenders the opportunity to maintain their employment and / or education / treatment. These programs are carefully supervised and include monetary fees, which shall be determined by a case assessment.
The Work Search Program provides the offender the opportunity to search for employment while serving a jail sentence and must be authorized by the court. The Work Search Program is an extension of the Work Release Program and is allowed only when bed space is available.
Even though the courts may have issued written recommendations to participate in a program, the Denver Sheriff’s Department has final approval on all individual’s acceptance on a case by case basis.