Northampton County Court uses an array of sentencing options to balance community safety, victim retribution, restitution, and offender rehabilitation. Sentencing alternatives include incarceration in either the Bureau of Corrections or county prison, state and county parole and probation, house arrest, and the use of electronic monitoring which has become a viable option between probation and imprisonment.
Intermediate Punishment is a sentencing alternative which imposes specific conditions the offender must fulfill during the entire length of the sentence. Required counseling, participation in high school equivalency classes, community service, and related conditions are monitored by the probation/parole officer with measured performance related to the court.
The court has recognized the space limitations of the county prison and closely reviews which offenders may initially serve their sentence in the local county prison. If an individual who is sentenced to the county prison does not make state parole on his minimum date of sentence or is subsequently returned by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Probation and Parole as a parole violator, the offender is required to serve the balance of his term at a state correctional institution. This philosophy enables the youthful offender to take advantage of the rehabilitative programs contained in the county facility, while placing hardened offenders in state institutions.