How Integrating Alternative Sentencing Can Impact Your Community
Advent eLearning is an invaluable resource for prosecutors, probation officers, judges, sheriffs, and other organizations across the nation looking for effective alternative sentencing options. Advent’s range of eLearning programs are designed with one goal in mind: to empower agencies to focus on their mission at hand— promoting accountability for their clients, assisting them in making the right choices for their futures, and improving their communities as a whole. Here is a look at how Advent eLearning is helping one of our clients accomplish this mission.
The Cayuga County Attorney’s Office Cayuga County is located in central New York State, halfway between Syracuse and Rochester. The county is 4 hours north of New York City and is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Cayuga County is a 70-mile-long rural county with its county seat, Auburn, located at the crossroads of Routes 5 and 20 and Routes 34 and 38. Because of the county’s long borders, many main thoroughfares run through it, bringing in a steady influx of traffic offenders. The New York State Thruway runs along the top half of Cayuga County and Route 90 travels down the western and southern borders of the county.
The Issue “The Cayuga County Office is responsible for the prosecution of all New York State criminal offenses that take place within the county, ranging from cases of intentional murder to traffic infractions. Each year, the Cayuga County attorney’s office handles the prosecution of about 500 felony arrests, 2,000 to 2,500 misdemeanor arrests, another 2,000 violation level offenses… along with approximately 20,000 traffic tickets.” explained Cayuga County Attorney, Jon Budelmann.
Since Cayuga County experiences this volume of cases per year, it’s critical for the district attorney’s office to utilize efficient, effective, and easily accessible alternative sentencing options, especially for their large number of traffic offenders.
The Solution According to Jon Budelmann, Advent offers a solution to the county’s unique set of barriers brought on by its location. “Advent’s courses provide accessibility in Cayuga County, which is especially important since it’s a rural county.”
“The courses offered by Advent are affordable, easy to use and not burdensome, and have a proven efficacy. Advent’s traffic safety is the program we use primarily. We offer drivers reduction to their offenses if the offenders successfully complete the traffic safety program. This provides Cayuga County a basis on which to grant reductions and some assurance that recidivism is less likely based on the education the Advent program provides.”
In addition to Advent’s traffic safety program, Cayuga County also makes use of other programs within Advent’s catalog to meet their alternative sentencing needs. “We’ve chosen to utilize several of AdventFS’s diversion programs, including pre-trial diversion, theft deterrence, traffic safety, offense level reductions, and adjournments in contemplation of dismissal, among others.” explained Jon Budelmann.
Impact on the Broader Community Advent’s programming has become part of a larger movement toward offering alternative sentencing options for Cayuga County. “The Cayuga County District Attorney’s Office has been an enthusiastic user of diversion programs for years. Cayuga County also has an Alternative to Incarceration Committee and local nonprofits who assist in supervision and running some of these programs, as well as assisting with community service sentences.”
Advent offers the perfect integration and tools necessary to assist the Alternative to Incarceration Committee in furthering their mission. “Advent refunds a portion of the $65 fee collected to the county to support the employees who make the reduction program possible. As a result, the offender, not the taxpayer, is responsible for funding the work needed to assist these drivers. This happens at no additional cost to the offenders, as the surcharges on driving offense convictions are either $88 per city or $93 per town and village courts.” explained Jon Budelmann.
A Word from the Cayuga County Attorney “Utilize a responsive partner to set up your programming in a manner that fits your needs.”
At Advent, we pride ourselves on being able to match our services to every client’s individual goals and missions. We understand that each organization experiences its own unique set of challenges and barriers. Advent’s programming can be implemented to fit any organizations need, allowing you to focus on your mission at hand: providing alternatives to your community that facilitate growth and change.