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Emergency Jail Releases Highlight Reform Possibilities

With the high risks of close-quarter viral infection rising during this crisis, local jails across the US (and world) have been releasing many non-violent offenders. In some jurisdictions, as many as 15-20% of their inmate population has been released.

These measures, combined with efforts such as citations in lieu of arrest to avoid additional bookings, has many local jails seeing their lowest incarceration rates in decades.

While criteria for these emergency releases have varied by jurisdiction, the most common types of offenders released to date have been:

  • Misdemeanor detainees serving short sentences

  • Detainees serving sanctions for probation/parole technical violations

  • Non-violent/non-sexual pretrial detainees

  • Work release and weekend plan detainees

  • Other detainees nearing the end of sentences or with significant medical issues

While these are considered emergency measures for many, this crisis may help criminal justice professionals reexamine the need for incarceration for these types of offenders in the future.

That is, with the use of sentencing alternatives to incarceration, many jurisdictions likely can make significant headway in addressing jail overcrowding and costs in the future without negatively impacting the safety of their communities.

Advent offers easy-to-implement adult and juvenile alternative sentencing solutions to police, prosecutors, courts, community corrections and probation offices across the country. Our eLearning platform allows for full management of over 20 online distance treatment programs to address low-level, non-violent offenses using cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) principles.

Advent clients use our eLearning platform for a variety of criminal justice applications, including:

  • Prosecutor and police programs for citation, misdemeanor and plea diversions and deferrals

  • Court and pretrial programs for incarceration alternatives and probation conditions

  • Probation/parole sanction applications in lieu of technical revocations and incarceration

Advent’s evidence-based programs have been demonstrated to deliver lower recidivism rates than incarceration for misdemeanor substance, conflict and property crimes. We believe that online treatment programs like ours can play a much larger role in criminal justice in the coming weeks, months and years to help communities lower incarceration rates while still holding defendants accountable and actually improving public safety outcomes.

To learn more about our distance treatment programs and eLearning management platform, including demonstrations and reviews of our content, please email us today at or contact your AdventFS sales representative.


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