ITHACA, N.Y. — A Tompkins County judge recommended shock incarceration, a boot-camp-style drug treatment program, for a woman police said they found with heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

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Sarah Monroe, 35, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in exchange for 3.5 years in jail, two years of post-release supervision and a recommendation for shock incarceration. If she completes the program, which lasts about six months, she’ll be released and serve the rest of her sentence on probation.

Despite having a previous felony charge, Monroe was not sentenced as a predicate felon because she was convicted more than 10 years ago.

Assistant District Attorney Eliza Filipowski said Monroe’s conviction was the result of a long-term drug investigation throughout the county. She added, though, that since Monroe has been released on bail the past few months, she seems to have turned a corner for the better.

“Judge, I really hope that Sarah Monroe is able to take a good look at her life and not resort to this (again),” Filipowski said.

Judge Joseph Cassidy said that despite Monroe’s criminal history, which includes over 15 years of criminal convictions, she seems to have a support system that has seemingly helped her live a law abiding life the past few months.

“A lot of people come here without anyone here,” he said gesturing toward Monroe’s mother and child watching the sentencing.

He reminded Monroe that she has a lot to lose by not successfully completing the program and will serve the entire 3.5-year sentence in jail if she fails out of it.

“It is ultimately a privilege,” he said.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.