Now this is not going to be an article detailing how to dig a hole from a jail cell to the freeway or file through bars with some makeshift instrument. If you are interested in learning about legal ways to shorten a prison sentence, however, you’ve come to the right place. Of course, we all hope never to be in a situation where this kind of information would be helpful but it never hurts to be prepared. Here are four ways to get out of jail that are all completely legal!

1. Good Behavior

You’ve probably heard about people getting out of jail for “good behavior.” Good behavior can benefit a convicted criminal in many ways including shortening his or her prison sentence. As long as you’re cooperative while incarcerated, obedient to authority figures and avoidant of trouble, your sentence can be shortened nearly 15% if you rack up good behavior “credit” while you are in jail. In the end, it always pays to behave.

2. Get Clean

A second way that you can potentially shorten your sentence is by completing an addiction recovery program while in jail. Although putting people in jail is largely seen as a punishment or a way to keep dangerous people off the streets, there is also a correctional aspect to jail. Most officials hope that time in jail can be spent correcting behavior so that future criminal activity is less likely. In some cases, it might be possible to reduce a sentence or skip prison time altogether by enrolling in and completing an approved addiction recovery program.

3. Hard Work in a Trustee Program

A third way to possibly shorten your sentence is to become a prison trustee. If you meet certain qualifications like a history of good behavior, a low bond and a non-violent conviction, you can volunteer to work as a trustee for the prison. This means that you will be assigned work to do around the prison. If you maintain your good behavior record and do good work as a trustee, you can often negotiate a shorter prison sentence.

4. Get a Bail Bond!

For the most part, we’ve only covered ways to shorten someone’s jail time after he or she has been locked up. Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid going to prison altogether? One sure-fire way to get out jail before your trial is to pay bail with a bail bond and wait for trial on your own terms! This method is particularly important if you’ve been wrongfully accused of a crime you didn’t commit or a crime that you shouldn’t be locked up for.