A results of mass incarceration has led to the difficulty of overcrowding in jails and prisons. One technique of lowering that inhabitants is the method of different sentencing.
In Sebastian County, there are a number of choices for defendants to keep away from jail time.
Specialty courts resembling drug court docket, DWI court docket, veterans court docket, and the brand new psychological well being court docket are methods to scale back the variety of folks serving jail time and supply various choices for individuals who discover themselves in court docket.
“Generally you are participating in prison exercise due to your drug behavior,” stated Sebastian County Circuit Courtroom Division V Decide Gunner Delay. “That will qualify you for drug court docket.”
Drug court docket gives the choice for defendants to attend grownup schooling programs or sobriety applications as an alternative of jail time. The hope of this route is to scale back recidivism, which means they’re lowering the variety of repeat offenders.
Sobriety applications are a part of Restore Hope and happen by Harbor Home.
DWI court docket is geared toward second and third offenses which carry obligatory jail time.
By permitting folks to undergo sobriety applications as an alternative of jail, it serves to scale back the variety of folks in jail and educate the defendants the hazards of consuming and driving in an effort to scale back the variety of drunk drivers on the highway in Fort Smith.
Veteran’s court docket is the same concept to drug and DWI courts besides it’s geared solely in the direction of those that have beforehand served in the US army. When a veteran turns into a defendant, they’ve the choice to plead their case on this court docket.
Psychological well being court docket is the latest of the particular courts. If a defendant is discovered to have a psychological sickness, that’s considered and they’re despatched to psychological well being court docket to plead their case.
“Sebastian County is utilizing each type of various sentencing we are able to and we’re at all times searching for extra,” stated Sebastian County Sheriff Hobe Runion.
Different such choices for various sentencing embody increasing using digital monitoring and the potential growth of particular courts. The variety of detainees within the Sebastian County Grownup Detention Heart as of April 19 was 377. The optimum quantity is 320, Runion acknowledged.
Digital monitoring is usually meant for defendants who’re out on bond and are at a excessive danger of disappearing. By increasing digital monitoring applications, it might cut back the quantity of people that fail to seem on their court docket dates and subsequently additional cut back the variety of arrest warrants written for the failure to seem.
Specialty courts present various choices for defendants, however the query stays if there are extra particular courts to supply and thereby cut back the variety of folks despatched to jail.