This is a recent The New Yorker piece about alternatives to incarceration, which is emerging as a controversial phrase of late.
From the piece:
Within the private corrections industry, ‘alternatives to incarceration’—including probation services and halfway houses—used to be regarded as an afterthought. The size of America’s incarcerated population more than quadrupled in the three decades since 1980, and, in time, the private sector seized an immensely lucrative opportunity; between 1990 and 2009, the number of inmates in private prisons increased seventeen-fold, and revenues for the largest private-prison firm, Corrections Corporation of America (C.C.A.), reached $1.7 billion.
Some investors have begun to turn their attention to extra-carceral institutions, such as private halfway houses, electronic monitoring, ‘civil commitment’ centers for sex offenders, and for-profit residential treatment facilities. Private-prison corporations themselves have begun to expand into the ‘alternatives’ industry. The GEO Group now has an array of ‘community reëntry services’ and treatment programs. In 2011, it acquired the country’s largest electronic-monitoring firm, BI Incorporated, for four hundred and fifteen million dollars. Last August, C.C.A. bought a California-based enterprise called Correctional Alternatives.