The Philadelphia Diversion Court Unit is managed by the District Attorney's Office. The criminal courts in Philadelphia have continued their development of diversionary initiatives and programs involving alternative sentencing. They now maintain a host of these programs including Domestic Violence Diversion, Mental Health Court, Future Forward, and more. These provide opportunities for defendants to move forward without a criminal record and avoid the often difficult “collateral consequences” that result.
Requirements for Entry
The Philadelphia Intermediate Punishment (IP) Non-DUI Program is divided into two distinct parts. The County Intermediate Punishment Program is designed for those with no past or current offenses that are violent. The State Intermediate Punishment Program is designed for those with no past or current offenses that are violent; however, they may have some prior criminal convictions. In both cases, the offenders are drug and/or alcohol dependent.
The defendants in these actions will enter a guilty plea to the charges. The offenders will begin with an evaluation called Forensic Intensive Recovery (FIR). This assessment is used to decide on the course of treatment that is best suited for the individual. The three options for treatment are as follows:
- Intensive Outpatient: This requires one year of Intermediate Punishment that includes six months of house arrest. The offender will perform community service for 40 hours and be subject to two years of probation.
- Short-Term Inpatient: This requires one year of Intermediate Punishment that includes three months of house arrest. The offender will complete community service for 40 hours and be subject to two years of probation.
- Long-Term Inpatient: This requires one year of Intermediate Punishment that includes performing community service for 40 hours and serving two years on probation.
Two Tiers of County Intermediate Punishment
- Tier 1: Offenders that are on Level 3 of the Sentencing Matrix are placed here. It does not involve house arrest. Defendants must complete their treatment plan that was established in FIR. The total process involves two years of probationary supervision, with one year being intensive. A probation officer may visit the offender's home or the offender will visit the probation office regularly.
- Tier 2: Offenders that are on Level 4 of the Sentencing Matrix are placed here. The length of probation and house arrest are determined at the discretion of the probation staff.
State Intermediate Punishment
The State IP program is typically an alternative to serving a prison sentence. Drug evaluation is conducted by the Department of Corrections. They generate a report for the court within 60-days. The defendant may be sentenced to Intermediate Punishment for 24 months. There will be an initial sentence at a state institution and the following:
- At least seven months in a correctional facility and at least two months in drug and alcohol treatment
- At least two months of inpatient drug and alcohol treatment at a community facility
- At least six months of outpatient drug and alcohol treatment
- Offenders are “reintegrated” into the community
Those who are not appropriate for drug and alcohol treatment are eligible for an alternative offered by the prosecutor. The District Attorney's Office will use its discretion in the conditions of alternative sentencing. Minor violations of the conditions may result in sanctions being imposed. There is no eligibility for expungement in these options.
Philadelphia Criminal Defense Attorney
Are you facing accusations of committing a criminal offense? Joseph D. Lento has represented clients for many years in criminal matters. He will analyze the evidence, facts, and circumstances to craft an effective strategy of defense. For a complimentary case evaluation, contact the office at (215) 535-5353 today.