Leadership in Community Alternatives (or “LCA”) is a private company that for many years has provided alternatives to prison and county jail, such as home detention, GPS monitoring, and alcohol monitoring. LCA enables people who are accused of crimes, but who are deemed a flight risk for some reason, to stay out of jail while they fight their case. Equally important, through programs like electronic home detention and alcohol monitoring, LCA offers meaningful alternatives to incarceration as means of punishing and rehabilitating offenders.
LCA has been providing Bay Area counties such services for years. As one judge noted, LCA has earned the “highest public confidence.”
But now for the first time, the County of Alameda has entered into a contract with LCA. Chief of Probation LaDonna Harris has signed a contract which authorizes LCA to administer electronic home detention as an alternative to county jail. Although in the past, judges did sentence defendants to house arrest through LCA, some judges had taken the position that without a formal contract between LCA and the county, home detention could not count towards a statutory mandatory minimum of county jail. Now, that obstacle is behind us. There is no reason that Alameda judges can claim that they do not have the authority to sentence a defendant to house arrest under the auspices of LCA and the Probation Department in lieu of county jail.