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California Alternative Custody Programs

People who are sentenced to prison in California may not have to serve out their entire sentences behind bars. If they meet certain criteria, they could be approved for the state's alternative custody program.

This program permits some inmates to be released early. However, applying and qualifying for the California Alternative Custody Program can require inmates to hire and use the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent them.

What is the California Alternative Custody Program?

The California Alternative Custody Program is a voluntary program that allows eligible offenders to serve the last 12 months of their prison terms in the community rather than behind bars. During the time that they are in the program, they are still under the supervision and jurisdiction of the state's Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. They must meet regularly with parole agents who will be in charge of supervising them before their prison terms end.

Just as when they are in prison, offenders in the program receive credits that are applied toward their sentences. One day in the program equals the same one credit that they would have received for serving time in state prison.

Further, inmates who are released into the community while in this program are restricted to what kind of housing in which they can live. They are required to live in:

  • Transitional care facilities
  • Residential drug rehabilitation programs
  • Private residences

They cannot live in a motel or anywhere else that is not approved by the program's administrators.

Inmates who are interested in taking part in the program must follow a precise application process. They also can better their chances of being approved for it by hiring a criminal defense attorney to assist them in completing and submitting their applications.

California Alternative Custody Program Requirements

The California Alternative Custody Program is available to a select number of state prison inmates. To be approved for the program, inmates must prove that they meet all of the criteria and that they will not pose a threat or burden to the community in which they are released.

One of the first requirements that inmates must satisfy when participating in the program involves having private or government-subsidized insurance. They must have their own private health insurance policy. If they do not, they must prove that they have been approved or are in the process of applying for government-subsidized health insurance.

Inmates must also have no more than 12 months and no fewer than 45 days left on their prison sentences. The program is designed to allow inmates to serve up to the last 12 months of their sentences in the community. They will not be eligible for alternative custody if they have more than a year left to serve in prison.

Other requirements for the program include:

  • Not being a gang member or having gang member affiliation
  • Not having a child abuse conviction
  • Not having a conviction that requires registration as a violent or sex offender
  • Not having a history of escapes from prison in the last ten years

These criteria will be closely evaluated when inmates apply for the alternative custody program. They must be able to prove that they meet all of these requirements and can satisfy the terms of what is expected of them while finishing out their sentences in the community.

Mark Raymond McDonald Can Help

Proving that they can be an asset to the community can be challenging from behind bars. To make the application process easier, inmates can hire a criminal defense attorney to help them get into the alternative custody program in California.

An experienced attorney can compile the needed proof to present to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and also represent inmates during hearings to determine their candidacy for the program.

To start your own application for the program, contact our team today (909) 443-1599.