The criminal justice system in the United States is a system of punishment. If you break a law, a court punishes you for it through fines or time in jail or prison. However, such a system is not always the right thing. Many states now have drug courts, for example, where if you have a drug charge, you can go through alternative punishment instead of heading straight to jail or prison. In Colorado, you may have options like this that can help keep you out of prison and that also serve the system as a whole by reducing crime rates.

The Department of Public Safety introduces the concept of residential programs. Residential Community Correction facilities are monitored living facilities where offenders live outside of prison. They are often used instead of sending a person to prison.

These facilities provide supervision but also allow you to go out int the community. You can hold a job and build relationships. You also can get access to mental healthcare or help with substance abuse.

There are 26 of these facilities in the state. You may have heard them called halfway houses. Residency is reserved for only certain offenders, but there is no restriction on who can live in one. About one-third of all offenders living in these facilities were sent straight there instead of prison.

It is shown that using these facilities can make it much easier for a person to rejoin communities and avoid reoffending. It allows you to pay child support and take care of any court fees while you are there as well.

This information is for education and is not legal advice.