The most common types of alternative imprisonment include transformative justice, restorative justice as well as the complete abolition of incarceration. While it is clear what the latter means, the first two need some explaining.
Restorative justice presupposes that the offender has to repair the harm they have done. This may be in the form of apologizing, doing some community service, returning stolen money etc. What is more, the idea is that such experience will prevent the offender from repeating similar behavior pattern.
Transformative justice is more of a philosophical strategy. The idea is to see what has caused the offender to do a crime and to work on those issues in order to prevent it in future. In other words, what one tries to do here is to transform the offender.
The reason why different types of alternative imprisonment have been at the forefront lately is that there are lots of benefits to them. They are as follows: economic benefits, safety benefits, judicial benefits and social benefits. Obviously, it is impossible to apply alternative imprisonment in every single crime case. Yet, there are lots of examples in which it would actually be a better option.