Alternatives to Incarceration Programs

     The Schuyler County Probation Department operates two specific branches of alternatives to Incarceration Programs which are Community Service (CS) and Pre-Trial Release (PTR). Schuyler County Probation maintains a community service coordinator to oversee this program. Our coordinator performs questionnaire screens for individuals during the Pre-Plea or Pre-Sentence investigation process to determine if an individual is eligible for community service prior to sentencing. The findings are reported to the court in the investigation. The coordinator develops and maintains contacts with over 50 nonprofit agencies throughout the county for potential work sites. When a defendant is sentenced to complete community service, the coordinator assigns them to a worksite and then tracks their progress and reports it to the court. If a defendant fails to complete the court ordered community service within the guidelines set by the court, then the coordinator can notify the district attorney’s office and sentencing court and recommend that action be taken to address the deficiency. This could include a jail term, more community service, a fine and even a charge of criminal contempt for non-compliance with a court order if it’s determined that the defendant failed to comply. When the community service is completed as required, it is reported to the sentencing court and the defendant’s community service case is closed successfully. Schuyler County Probation receives a small amount of state funding to help run this program. 

     The Schuyler County Pre-Trial Release (PTR) program serves defendants that are arraigned on criminal charges and then released from court with supervision requirements to assist in getting the defendant to attend their next court date. The population served includes defendants with pending criminal court proceedings that are not detained in jail but require some sort of supervision to ensure compliance with release orders and encouragement in attending their court appearances. These PTR cases generally require weekly check-in contacts with the department until their court proceedings have been concluded and disposed of. Probation can also provide electronic monitoring for defendants that are under Pre-Trial Release and need location monitoring and may be at risk of flight. This program provides an alternative to incarceration option assisting in reducing the unsentenced jail population for the highest of flight risk cases during court proceedings. The goal for our Pre-Trial Release program is to ensure that defendants attend their court appearances. If the defendant fails to comply with the release orders and court appearances, then the pre-trial release officer can recommend to the Court that the defendant be remanded to jail until the court proceedings are disposed of. Schuyler County Probation also receives an amount of state aid to fund and support this program.