This article is excerpted from Rachel Porter, Sophia Lee, and Mary Lutz's 100-page report of the same name originally published by the Vera Institute of Justice in 2002. The report assesses the operation of the alternatives to incarceration (ATI) program for dealing with defendants accused of felonies. This research has shown that the ATI system represents a valuable sentencing option in the city. The criminal justice system in New York City includes a unique network of alternatives to incarceration: a coordinated set of programs to which judges may send criminal offenders instead of sentencing them to jail. The programs balance punishment and treatment for felony offenders without compromising public safety, and they have the potential to reduce reoffending.

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