The Alternative Work Program is available to inmates with sentences of less than 365 days who work in the community in lieu of going to jail. This program allows county, city and state government agencies to acquire labor which normally would not be available. It also allows participants to improve the community at 40 local sites while reducing the jail populations. Inmates pay a small fee to participate in the program, thus alleviating the burden to the taxpayers.

AWP and Electronic Monitoring applications may be downloaded from the "Forms" section of this website, but must be delivered in person with the supporting documentation and the $50 application fee (cash or Money Order only). Applications will not be accepted by mail.


The Alternative Work Program is a fee supported process that allows persons sentenced to 135 days or less in the county jail to perform community improvement projects and manual labor in support of non-profit organizations. The program was started in October, 1987 pursuant to Penal Code Section 4024.2 and with the authorization of the Board of Supervisors. Pursuant to Penal Code Section 1209, a sign-up fee is charged to those who apply to the program. The program is open to sentenced, low risk offenders and minimum security inmates in conjunction with classification criteria. Additional work credits are available for community based service work as opposed to being housed in the facilities.

The Electronic Monitoring Program is a fee supported process where length of commitment is not an issue. The program, with authorization from the Board of Supervisors, was started in May, 1992, pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.016. Under Penal Code Section 1208.2, a sign-up fee is charged to those who apply to the program. After acceptance, the participant then is charged a daily fee while in the program. The program is open to sentenced offenders who meet the classification of minimum security.

Sheriff’s Parole is not supported by any type of fee process. The process was started pursuant to Penal Code Section 3074. Sheriffs Parole is open to any sentenced inmate who has completed one-third (1/3) of their commitment. Applications are reviewed by the three members of the Parole Board (a Sheriff's Office facility commander, a representative from Probation and a citizen at large). If parole is granted, terms and conditions may be set by the Parole Board. In this program, the participant may rejoin the community but will continue to be monitored by Jail Alternatives staff until his parole expires.


The evaluation of the applicant is a continuation of the classification process. Jail Alternatives staff will ensure that placement will be in the best interest of public safety.

Consideration will be placed on the participant's continued ties to the community, their employment, their providing financial stability for the family unit, obtaining substance abuse treatment and enhancing or furthering their education and/or job training skills.

Typically, the selection of participants is limited to minimum custody/low risk offenders. Recency and breadth of criminal sophistication commensurate with the degree of how notorious the crime may be to our community shall be factored when considering the eligibility of the applicant.

Prior program failures or those charged with crimes involving violence, severe substance abuse or sexual predator violations will not be eligible for Jail Alternative programs. However, some flexibility may be required and would focus on rehabilitation and integration of the participant back into the community.