“District attorneys are being asked to do more and more [ ] now, we’re also being asked to be social workers,” says Commanche County, Ok., District Attorney Fred Smith. Prosecutors today may choose from a variety of nontraditional sentencing options ranging from drug court assignments to mental health and anger management counseling, The Oklahoman reports.
GPS monitoring devices for sex offenders, alcohol monitoring bracelets, and drug patches are some of the newer probation tools. Alternative sentencing is a necessity borne from prison overcrowding and shrinking budgets. In Oklahoma, where the prison population has grown by 9,000 in 13 years, there is no money for prison construction and agencies are bracing for more budget cuts.