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Jail Programs and Alternative Sanctions

Information about eligibility requirements and approval processes for different programs and alternative sanctions.

Adults in custody may have the opportunity to participate in different programs or alternative sanctions. In most cases these include an application and approval process. Learn more about these opportunities by clicking the links or scrolling below.

In-custody programs and activities

We offer many in-house programs for AICs that are designed to enhance the safety and order of the jail and improve public safety. All our programs focus on increasing opportunities for AICs to encourage more productive behavior upon release.

Shortly after lodging, Jail Programs Counselors assess eligible AICs as an initial step toward developing a long-term plan. Our goal is to prepare adults in custody for a successful transition back into the community as productive community members. The latest assessment tool helps us identify not only the history of each AIC but also provides insight into their motivations and what support factors could make them more productive when they leave jail. 

Qualifying AICs have a wide array of opportunities they can participate in. (Some programs remain limited due to COVID-19.)

jail programs
  • Volunteer-led religious services
  • AA, NA, and Celebrate Recovery peer-led support groups
  • Cognitive restructuring and skill-building classes
  • Dialectic Behavioral Therapy classes
  • Alternatives to Violence Classes
  • Drug and alcohol relapse-prevention, and dual-diagnosis classes
  • Life skills and parenting classes
  • Art classes
  • Individual Counseling
  • Transition assistance with housing and substance use treatment - 30-day transitional housing subsidies are sometimes available through the Sheriff’s Office as well as connection to jail mentors in the community
  • Employment readiness classes and assistance provided by Oregon Employment Department partners
  • P.R.E.P. program provided by SEWorks for employment and educational/training support
  • General Educational Development (GED) preparation and testing
  • High school diploma completion and credit recovery provided by Hillsboro School District partners for AIC ages 21 and under
  • Individual tutoring provided by volunteers
  • Work programs; learning new physical skills while working in and for the community as well as inside the jail

Eligibility for program activities depends on the AIC’s security classification and other factors, such as sentencing status, length of stay, assessed needs, and behavior within the jail.  Participation in many of these activities is dependent on cooperative and responsible behavior.

Program activities target the issues most likely to result in ongoing criminal behavior, including anti-social attitudes, impulsive behavior, drug and alcohol abuse, and skills deficits.       

AICs who are coping with chronic mental illness or developmental disorders can participate in treatment activities if deemed appropriate by the jail's medical health care provider.  

Caring for children of incarcerated parents

For AICs with children, the jail offers a process that allows them to request support for their children through the schools and provides a potential connection to the McKenney-Vento Act - Homeless Education Program. We have liaisons in every school district in Oregon, and specifically in Washington County, who will work to connect the children to appropriate support services– even if they do not qualify for this program.

Electronic home detention


The Electronic Home Detention (EHD) Program is an offender-funded alternative sanction program that allows low-risk adults in custody (AIC) to serve part or all of a jail sentence at home, making more space available in our jail for AICs who pose a greater threat to our community. This program also allows AICs to simultaneously work and attend school, medical appointments, and drug, alcohol, and mental health treatment.

While on EHD, AICs wear an ankle bracelet that allows jail staff to track their movements in the community using GPS technology. Participants must have a pre-arranged weekly schedule - and must remain in Oregon within a 50-mile radius of the Washington County Jail.

Participants are subject to random home visits and cannot live with anyone who is on parole or probation, or with one of their victims. All weapons, alcohol, and illegal drugs must be removed from the residence, and all adults must consent in writing to searches by law enforcement before the AIC starts the program.

EHD Brochure (PDF 890.08 KB)

Selection is not automatic and applicants must meet stringent eligibility requirements. Participation in this program is a privilege that can be revoked at any time due to negative behavior, rule violations, or inability to pay required fees. If revoked, AICs will be returned to jail.

Each participant must meet the following basic eligibility requirements to participate in the EHD Program:

  • The AIC’s sentence must be from Washington County, not another jurisdiction.
  • The sentencing order or sanction must allow for alternatives or specify that the AIC is eligible for EHD.
  • There must be more than ten days remaining on the AIC’s sentence or the parole or probation violation sanction.
  • All recommended programs must be complete or exempt by a programs manager.
  • The proposed residence must be verifiable and within Washington County. AICs may not leave the State of Oregon. Applicants living outside of Washington County are considered on a case-by-case basis and encouraged to apply.
  • Job searches or job sites must be within a 50-mile radius of the Washington County Jail and in Oregon.
Automatic Disqualifiers

The following conditions will normally disqualify AICs from participating in the program:

  • A custody hold by another agency, a direct contempt charge, or a pending transport order
  • A pending extradition order
  • A pending hearing for sentencing, parole violation, or jail discipline
  • Applying while serving a disciplinary sanction
  • A history of:
    • Escape or unauthorized departures
    • Sex offenses
    • Repeated drug charges or convictions
    • Domestic violence
    • Mental health problems
    • Violating release agreements or restraining orders
    • Patterns of failure to appear for court proceedings or court-ordered programs
    • Criminal or institutional behavior that suggests violent or assaultive tendencies

AICs sentenced in another jurisdiction are not eligible for our EHD program. Out-of-state sentences eligible for local service may qualify for the Work in Lieu of Jail (WILOJ) program.

Program Costs

Program participants are required to wear and maintain a GPS tracking device and carry a mandatory alcohol breathalyzer to provide four pre-scheduled tests per day. AICs are responsible for covering the equipment and monitoring costs which are based on participants’ income, ranging in scale from $15.00 per day to $25.00 per day. The first 14 days are due at the time of install.

Application Process

There is no application fee and interested participants can fill out an application and return by email or in-person at the Washington County Jail at 215 SW Adams Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97123.

Aplicación en español (PDF 57.45 KB)

For more information about Electronic Home Detention, please call 503-846-6857 or email us.

deputy supervising a work crew

Work in Lieu of Jail (WILOJ)

Work in Lieu of Jail (WILOJ) is a weekend program for AICs who meet stringent qualifications. Participants are not lodged in the jail, but rather work off their sentence by reporting on weekends.

Approximately 15 sentenced AICs are used for 8 hours on both Saturdays and Sundays for community projects. They may clear undergrowth and brush, paint and make minor repairs to schools, park buildings and granges; or even clear and repair damage to local cemeteries, community parks, the fairgrounds, and areas around Henry Hagg Lake. These programs are different and separate from County Community Service Programs.

Those involved consider this a more productive way to pay their debt to society and community members also benefit from cleaner and safer parks, schools, and highways. AIC laborers gain experience in teamwork, following instructions, handling power equipment, forestry skills, and developing work ethics. Our goal is not only to improve our community through labor, but also for those involved to gain skills that will help them to be more productive once they are released.


Those selected for the work crews are carefully screened and must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a history free of violent crime convictions
  • Known for good behavior while in custody and determined to be a low escape risk
  • Nearing the end of their sentence
Program Costs

WILOJ participants pay a $25 program fee per day in lieu of spending 24 hours in jail. The income pays for the cost of their supervision, workers insurance, and transportation costs.

Reporting for WILOJ

Report for orientation at the jail lobby off the main Sheriff’s Office foyer on the exact date and time ordered by the sentencing judge. Being late or absent is not an option. If you are ill or injured, you must still report at the ordered date and time and jail health care staff will assess you. If you are in a hospital, call the jail in advance at 503-846-2600 and provide the hospital name, location, and telephone number.

If you fail to appear, deputies will be authorized to arrest you and return you to jail to serve your sentence. Upon arrest, personal belongings are inventoried and stored in our property room.

When reporting for WILOJ, bring your sentencing order that you received in court and official government-issued picture identification, such as a driver's license. Orientation will include booking and fingerprinting and may take up to two hours. Do not bring anyone 17 years of age or younger with you to the orientation unless another adult also comes to supervise the child.

Lockers are available in the lobby to store your personal belongings during orientation.

For more information about the WILOJ program, call 503-846-6385 or email us.