Sentencing Alternatives

Sentencing Pyramid Graphic
Sentencing Pyramid Graphic


All individuals under DCS supervision now have access to every available incarceration alternative. Using these options provides Georgia’s criminal justice system with an array of benefits:

Provides judges with more options
Every case, offender, and community is different. Alternatives offer cost-effective sentences and/or sanctions that promote public safety and rehabilitation in ways that best fit the needs of the situation.

Saves taxpayers money
Alternatives to incarceration are often cheaper, help prevent prison and jail overcrowding, and are more effective at keeping offenders in their communities as productive economic contributors.

Proven effectiveness in preventing crime
Alternatives are proven to better confront the underlying causes of crime (i.e., drug addiction and mental illness) and help prevent offenders from committing new crimes.

Aligned with the Principles of Effective Intervention
Alternatives to incarceration are designed for offenders at higher risk of reoffending and non-adherence to conditions of supervision. Offender’s needs and responsivity to programming and sanctioning are considered when determining an appropriate alternative to incarceration that targets the offender’s characteristics and circumstances.

Alternatives to incarceration improve Georgia’s public safety by breaking cycles of crime. If you have additional questions about sentencing alternatives, or would like to speak to a sentencing and alternatives specialist in your district, please contact your local DCS field office or [email protected] (note that individual cases cannot be discussed by the Office of Public Affairs).