This article examines the recent increase in the number of federal alternative-to-incarceration programs (ATIs), and how such programs could be aided considerably by the newly constituted United States Sentencing Commission. The authors observe that precisely because the federal system has been slower to embrace ATIs, this decarceration effort may have at least partially avoided the pendulum-like dynamic that repeatedly frustrates the criminal justice reform movement in state and local jurisdictions. Drawing on source material from a recent series of panel discussions on federal decarceration, the authors suggest that ATIs can be scaled to great, even transformative effect in the federal system. They conclude, however, that this will take equally great measures of conviction and culture change.

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