What Are the Alternatives to Incarceration in New Jersey?

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alternatives incarceration new jersey

If you are facing criminal charges, have pleaded guilty or sustained a conviction, you should expect some severe consequences, including a period of incarceration. However, even if your sentence or plea agreement calls for a period of incarceration, a knowledgeable, hard-charging Mercer County criminal defense lawyer can attempt to convince the court that you deserve an alternative disposition. For more information on the alternatives to incarceration available in New Jersey, please continue reading, then contact our firm today. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:43-2b and N.J.S.A. 2C:43-2c, the court has the authority to sentence a defendant to the following alternatives:

What is a suspended sentence?

The court may suspend the imposition of a sentence on a person who has sustained a conviction for a criminal offense. While the suspension may not extend to a period of five years, it may apply to any or all of the defendant’s imprisonment. Of course, the court will set conditions to the suspension, the violation of which will carry sanctions similar to those imposed for a violation of probation. The same guidelines that apply to resentencing upon a violation of probation apply to sentencing upon a violation of a suspended sentence.

What is the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program (SLAP)?

The court may permit a defendant to serve up to ninety days of incarceration on the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program, otherwise known as SLAP. As a community-based corrections program, SLAP allows defendants to perform moderate levels of manual labor. Defendants must serve at least one day a week until they complete their sentence. Please bear in mind that the program does include a processing fee in addition to a per-day fee associated with participation in the program.

While participating in the program, the county correctional facility will technically consider defendants inmates and, therefore, subject them to all associated rules and regulations, including searches. Only non-violent offenders may participate in SLAP.

What are the other alternatives to incarceration in New Jersey?

If applicable, the court may sentence the defendant to any of the following:

  • Community service work: Wherein the court orders someone to supervise the defendant in the community or have the defendant perform community-related service work.
  • Nights and weekends: Wherein the court sentences the defendant to imprisonment at night or on weekends with liberty to work or participate in training or educational programs.
  • Residential facilities: Wherein the court releases the defendant to a halfway house or another residential facility in the community, including agencies not directly operated by the Department of Human Services.
  • Driving privileges: Wherein the court postpones, suspends or revokes, for a period not to exceed two years, the defendant’s driver’s license, registration certificate or both, if convicted of a disorderly persons offense.

Speak with Douglas Herring, Esq. if you have any further questions.


If you face a criminal matter, contact The Law Office of Douglas Herring to schedule your initial consultation.

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