Alternatives to Incarceration

Departmental Functions

The goal of the Sheriff’s Alternatives Bureau is to provide all courts within Rensselaer County a viable sentencing option other than the incarceration of offenders. The results of this option are a reduction in jail overcrowding and the expense of farming out inmates to other counties. Selected non-violent offenders perform a certain number of days of work in reparation for their crimes through the performance of community service labor referred to as “work order”. The offenders are directly supervised by the staff of the Alternatives Bureau at work sites within Rensselaer County.

Program Objectives

The Sheriff staffs and directs the operation of the Alternatives Program seven days and four evenings per week. The program provides the Courts within Rensselaer County a sentencing option consistent with public safety.

Program Statistics

In 2011, the Alternatives Bureau performed work at over 200 worksites within Rensselaer County including work at the Rensselaer County Public Safety Building, the two Sheriff’s Highway Patrol substations, as well as other County owned buildings. This bureau also performed work at numerous sites operated by other government agencies and not for profit groups. 

A total of 144 offenders were sentenced to this program in 2011. The result of these offenders serving sentences with this bureau rather than incarceration was savings of over $1,000,000 in State and County housing costs, as well as countless savings to the work sites served by this bureau.

More Information

For more information about the program please call Phil Liebener at 518-266-2921