The Swift & Certain Probation Program (SAC) is a strategy based upon the HOPE probation model created by retired Judge Steven Alm, which was designed to effect positive behavioral change for those placed under court supervision. SAC provides swift, certain, consistent, and proportionate consequences for misbehavior in an environment of caring support. SAC is not meant to be a substitute for any other supervisory strategy (e.g., evidence-based principles for recidivism reduction) but rather complements those efforts and makes them work more effectively. The Judges of the 24th Judicial District Court voted to adopt the HOPE model in Jefferson Parish after legislation was passed in June 2016 under La. R.S. 13:5371 et seq.
SAC Probation Program Handbook
This handbook will provide you with information about the SAC program and what is expected of you as a SAC probationer. We encourage you to share this information with your attorney, family, friends, employer, or anyone else that is impacted by your participation in this program. We look forward to working together as you begin the process of becoming a successful, productive member of our community.
An outcomes and process evaluation. Employs an ad hoc comparison group. SAC participants are incarcerated less and reoffend less than the comparison group. SAC participants perceive that the program embodies procedural justice, across the dimensions of voice, understanding, neutrality, and dignity/respect; they also perceive punishments for noncompliance with court requirements to be both certain and undesirable.
Novel Prison Program Saves Money, Lives And Souls
Schlegel believes the Re-entry Court and another program, Swift and Certain (SAC) Probation, will produce drastically lower recidivism rates and save incredible amounts of money that would otherwise be spent locking people up.
The national recidivism rate five years after release is 76.6 percent; in Louisiana, that figure is 42.6 percent. Those who enter the SAC program are “high-risk, high-need” individuals who are provided treatment, support and other monitoring, with the court having a streamlined process to make sure they are complying.
The program is still relatively new, but Schlegel says it works. “With just 48 people, I saved the state of Louisiana $180,000 last year with much better outcomes from a public-safety viewpoint,” he said.
Part of the plan includes making available Uber rides for the men–they would pay for the service–in case they have car trouble making it to work, to drug tests or to court.
“When I get a flat tire, I can call AAA or American Express and they can fix my car and I’m at work one hour later,” Schlegel said. “What happens to these individuals is they sit on the road, they have to walk to work, they don’t get there, they lose their job, the car gets towed because it’s sitting on the side of the road, they miss paying the rent and they get kicked out. It’s a cycle.”
Smart Supervision–A Novel Way to Address High Recidivism Rates (webinar)
Webinar video with Judge Schlegel. Includes discussion of SAC.
Judge Schlegel talks about the Smart On Crime Initiative and SAC Probation Program (podcast)
Laurence Colletti talks to Judge Scott Schlegel about the Smart On Crime Initiative and Swift & Certain Probation Program. They discuss the realities of the system and what needs to be done to increase public safety and use funds responsibly to help individuals return from prison and be able to succeed in their community.