Jail Alternatives

The Boulder Probation Department administers the most sought after alternative to actual confinement, sometimes referred to as straight time.  While probation is generally granted instead of a jail or prison sentence, probation may granted along with some form of incarceration.   

When a sentence of incarceration is imposed, whether as a term and condition of probation, or without probation, the judge may impose certain alternatives to actually being locked up full-time in the county jail.  These jail alternatives can be deemed to satisfy a sentence just as if it had been served as straight time.  The availability of such jail alternative can be of great importance when facing a mandatory jail sentences possible alternatives include programs such as Home Detention, Work Release, the Work Crew Program, and the Multiple Offender DUI (MOD) Program. The court may consider these options in situations where the person convicted would otherwise have to serve a sentence of straight jail time. In each of these programs, daily or weekly fees are charged.

Home Detention Program - Administered by the Boulder County Sheriff's Department. Unless involved in a narrow category of specifically pre-approved activates such as going to work, one must remain at home, monitored by an electronic "ankle bracelet."

Electronic Home Monitoring - Administered by the Boulder Probation Department or the private agencies Intervention and Rocky Mountain Offender Management Services. Available as an alternative to incarceration in the county jail as a condition of probation, or when a probationer is not in full compliance with the conditions of probation.

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 Crew Program - Jail sentences are served by working on a day work crew, during which specific tasks are assigned and performed, but sleeping at home.

Multiple Offender DUI (MOD) Program - An intensive three phase program for individuals with three or more alcohol related convictions, starting with straight jail, and transitioning to work release and then to day reporting. (MOD Program brochure.)


Starr Program for women with a history of repeat offenses including, but not limited to DUI and DWAI.

Rapidly advancing technology has created electronic devises that go well beyond the traditional ankle bracelet and home phone line combination. Continuous satellite alcohol monitoring systems allow for around the clock monitoring no matter where one may be located.  Such devices include:

GPS Tracking Systems including BI ExacuTrack and OmniLink.

SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor) a transdermal alcohol monitoring bracelet.

While devices such as these may be seen as extremely intrusive, their availability may provide a judge with alternatives to more traditional monitoring methods that by their nature reduce flexibility and place severe restrictions upon one’s mobility.

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