In December 1990, the Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the County Intermediate Punishment (IP) Act (Act 1990-193). The Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing amended the sentencing guidelines to include IP options. The intent is to divert the non-violent offender from county jail incarceration to IP programs. IP is defined as a punishment option within a continuum between traditional probation and traditional incarceration. Post-adjudication sanctions that can be used as intermediate punishments include: house arrest; intensive supervision; electronic monitoring; community service; drug testing; drug and alcohol treatment; and use of fines and restitution. A typical sentence will combine two or more of these sanctions as appropriate to the offender and public safety.
In June 2002, the General Assembly enacted Act 2000-41, which made changes to existing IP sentencing. The court could now impose a flat period of full or partial confinement without parole, but only when the confinement is followed by a consecutive sentence of IP. The period of confinement cannot exceed 90 days. IP sentencing was extended to include offenders charged with Driving Under Suspension, DUI-related but only with sanctions to include drug and alcohol treatment combined with house arrest, electronic monitoring or partial confinement, or a residential inpatient program.