A unique criminal justice program
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 is a multi-faceted court based program that combines the strengths of the judicial branch, correctional system, prosecutorial branch, public defender's office, and local law enforcement, with the stakeholders in mental health, substance abuse treatment, education, and workforce development to reverse the disturbing trend of high incarceration rates with low rates of behavioral change. The Judge has much more involvement in supervising SAC offenders than ordinary probation.
Through learning new behaviors, utilizing the available resources within the community and structuring a suitable environment, many of the probationers will be capable of living a crime-free lifestyle. SAC is designed to address the probationer’s need for treatment, support, and monitoring in a highly structured system that emphasizes accountability. SAC probationers are required to (1) consistently meet with his/her probation officer; (2) participate in regular treatment sessions, as needed; (3) take frequent drug screens; and (4) attend monthly court status hearings to ensure they comply with the requirements of the program. SAC probationers are awarded points for compliance and earn their way off of probation.