Sober Living Facilities as an Alternative to Jail Time
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Many courts consider alternatives to jail sentences for nonviolent drug and alcohol offenses. One of these alternatives is time in a sober living facility. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug addiction is a disease not a moral or criminal behavior. By using alternative sentencing the courts accomplish two things. The first is to help someone who is an addict get sober without the stigma of jail time. The other is to help alleviate the overcrowding in prisons. These two purposes make sober living houses a viable alternative to jail time.
Requirements for Alternative Sentencing
The requirements for alternative sentencing vary from state to state but there are some basics that most states have in common. These requirements are necessary to make sure that certain offenders do not wind up back on the streets. Some of the requirements are:
- The offense has to be nonviolent.
- It has to be a certain class of offense, use but not trafficking or distribution.
- Usually it needs to be a first or second time offense.
- There should be no danger to the public.
Many states use alternative sentencing for DUI’s and minor possession charges. Candidacy is highly dependent on the state, the individual, and the crime.
Sober Living Fulfillment Requirements
If you are sentenced to an alternative program such as a sober house, you will need to fulfill certain requirements for the program. These requirements also vary from state to state but many of them are the same. These requirements are:
- Wearing an ankle monitor for a certain length of time.
- Weekly checks with a probation officer.
- You have to spend a certain length of time at the sober house, usually 30, 60, or 90 days.
- You have to go to counseling sessions regularly.
- You have to actively participate in the program.
- You have to be able to pass a drug and alcohol test randomly.
- You will need to follow the instructions of the alternative sentencing program exactly.
If you are in violation of any of these requirements many of the programs, have a stipulation that you will serve the jail sentence that you would have gotten had you not been offered an alternative. Many times alternative sentencing is an important opportunity for you to get your life back from the addiction.
Why Choose Alternative Sentencing?
Sometimes you have a choice when it comes to sentencing alternatives. Inpatient treatment, 12 step treatment, and sober living facilities are often a part of that choice. It is the courts way of allowing a person who makes a mistake to receive the help that they need rather than just going to jail. Sober living facilities often offer an alternative to inpatient care and jail time, to those that have jobs, families, and lives that they have to maintain.
Where to Find a Sober House
You can find a sober house by simply calling 800-373-1667 (Who Answers?) . Sometimes courts look favorably on alternative sentencing if you take the first step on your own.