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Portola Valley: Stephen Wolf serving an alternative sentence

Stephen Wolf, the former Portola Valley resident who pleaded no contest to one count of possession of child pornography, had been facing eight months in jail starting Feb. 1, but he is serving an alternative sentence instead.

Mr. Wolf is a participant in the Sheriff's Office work-furlough program run by the county's Alternative Sentencing Bureau (ASB), Deputy Rebecca Rosenblatt of the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office told the Almanac.

Work-furlough participants must either have a full-time job or be enrolled in school as a full-time student. Mr. Wolf has a job, Ms. Rosenblatt said.

When he is working, Mr. Wolf is out of custody, but returns to custody at the county's "medium security facility," Ms. Rosenblatt said.

To qualify for the program, staff examine letters of recommendation for the inmate and the inmate's situation, including criminal record and risk to public safety, if any. Participation is at the sheriff's discretion and candidates must be serving a sentence of more than 90 days.

Asked if the jail overcrowding is a factor, Ms. Rosenblatt said it is not.

"If individuals fit the criteria for a particular program, we as an organization will place them into an alternative situation that will allow the individual to give back to the community and/or will best assist the individual in becoming a contributing member of society upon their release," Ms. Rosenblatt said in an email.

The county has some 400 people serving alternative sentences, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Mr. Wolf was arrested in March of 2012 and pleaded no contest in March 2013 to one count of possession of child pornography. He was sentenced in December to three years of supervised probation on the condition that he serve the time in jail. He was a resident of Portola Valley at the time of his arrest.

Alternative sentencing does not alter the requirement in Mr. Wolf's sentence that he register for life as a sex offender and participate in a sex-offender treatment program for one year.

His ankle bracelet alerts ASB staff immediately if he strays out of the geographical area designated to travel between home and his place of work.

The ASB also runs the Sheriff's Office work program, in which participants perform public service tasks such as picking up trash along freeways and washing away graffiti.

For more, go to this link.

An earlier version of this story described Mr. Wolf as being out of custody. He is when he is working at his job, but returns to custody when he is not working.

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