NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is joining advocates for women in announcing a program that will let some female prisoners serve their sentences at home.

The Justice Home Program is the first of its kind allowing 45 women facing jail time for non-violent crimes to retain custody of their children while serving their sentences at home, Hynes said.

“The women will be able to stay home with their kids, they will plead guilty up front to a charge, that sentence will be held over their heads while they do things like work and nurture their children,” Hynes said.

The women will receive intensive supervision and treatment and spare their children the trauma of watching their mother being hauled off to jail, WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported.

“I think that we can improve public safety by reducing the likelihood that individuals will commit crime,” said Georgia Lerner, the director of the Women’s Prison Association. “We think that the person’s real life is the best place to practice different ways of dealing with situations and for her to learn how to navigate and reduce her involvement in criminal activity.”

For women who complete the program, the slate will be wiped clean, criminal charges dropped, Cornell reported.

Hynes said the program is cost effective, pointing out that it takes $34,000 a year to keep a mother and two children at home compared to $129,000 to send a woman to jail and her children to foster care.

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