"With the advent of prison and jail overcrowding in the early 1990's, alternatives to incarceration became a topic of great interest to facility administrators and tax payers. The costs of incarcerating individuals is ever increasing and fewer empty jail beds are available. 'The U. S. correction system has felt the effect of many developments over the past 20 years. But perhaps no event has challenged the system more than the social, economic, and political consequences of prison crowding' (Baer, 1989). To meet the needs of society in rehabilitating/ punishing those convicted of major or violent crimes, and insure that the offender spends an adequate amount of time behind bars, a means of providing rehabilitation and or punishment for those that commit lesser crimes must be found and implemented."
Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas
Sam Houston State University: http://www.shsu.edu/