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What Is Alternative Sentencing for Drug Offenders?

What Is Alternative Sentencing for Drug Offenders?Drug abuse and addiction have reached epidemic proportions in recent years. Persons convicted of drug crimes have traditionally been punished with incarceration. However, prison time has not shown effective in curing addiction, stopping drug abuse or reducing the rates of recidivism: the nation’s prisons have become overcrowded with non-violent drug offenders who are not career criminals.

These circumstances, combined with knowing that drug addiction requires treatment, have led to the federally mandated Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA). The philosophy behind DOSA is that treatment is more effective and less expensive than prison time, and that non-violent drug offenders can overcome addiction to become productive members of society. Louisville residents can now cure their addictions and serve their sentencing times.

What Does Alternative Sentencing Involve?

Sentencing under DOSA involves one of two options, depending on the severity of the case. Both options reduce jail time as long as the prisoner completes drug rehab treatment. Courts also have significant leeway under the statute to modify sentence requirements depending on the individual case. If a Louisville resident succeeds, the punishment will be reduced.

The first option under DOSA is the prison-based alternative sentence. Offenders will be incarcerated for the first phase of their DOSA sentence, but may serve the remainder in community custody. During both phases the offender is required to participate in addiction treatment.

The second option for sentencing under DOSA is the residential chemical treatment. This option involves community custody rather than prison, but the Louisville offender must participate in an inpatient drug addiction treatment program for a period usually lasting three to six months. Near the end of treatment the court will review the offender’s progress and consider options. At that point the offender may be released, held over for further review or be sent to prison to complete the sentence.

Which Louisville Residents Are Eligible for Alternative Sentencing?

Alternative sentencing is designed to help Louisville residents who would not be in trouble with the law were it not for a drug problem. Alternative sentencing is not intended for violent individuals, career criminals or drug dealers. Eligibility for alternative sentencing involves the following criteria:

  • The offense does not involve violence or the use of a deadly weapon
  • The charge does not involve a sex offense
  • The offender has not been convicted of a violent offense anywhere in the United States within the last ten years
  • The offender has never been convicted of a sex offense
  • The offense does not involve driving under the influence
  • The offense does not involve a large quantity of drugs
  • The offender is not subject to deportation
  • The standard sentence for the offense is longer than one year
  • The offender has not received a DOSA sentence within the last ten years

Under these criteria, Louisville residents can recover with the right help.

Louisville Addiction Help

If you live in Louisville and are in trouble with the law due to a non-violent drug offense, you may be eligible for alternative sentencing. Under DOSA you will need effective inpatient treatment, and we can help you find the best treatment possible to meet these requirements and to help you get clean. Call our 24 hour, toll-free helpline today to instant support.

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