Probation supervision programs awarded grants

The Michigan Supreme Court announced recently that $3.49 million in grants has been awarded to 25 courts statewide to fund the operation of Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Programs (SSSPP) during fiscal year 2019.

The SSSPP targets high-risk felony offenders with a history of probation violations or failures.

Data from fiscal year 2017 show that unemployment among SSSPP graduates was reduced by more than two-thirds.

Previous analysis also showed that graduates of SSSPPs were 36 percent less likely to reoffend, compared to those who completed regular probation programs.

“Through intensive oversight and supervision, individuals in Swift and Sure programs get the specialized and structured help they need to avoid falling back into habits that may have prevented them from succeeding in traditional probation programs,” said Justice Elizabeth Clement, MSC liaison to SSSPP programs, at a graduation ceremony in the 48th Circuit Court in Allegan.

“I am proud that the Supreme Court has been able to support these programs with critical funding that enables them to help them strengthen communities and save lives around the state,” she said.

In addition to funding, the Supreme Court provides SSSPPs with operational support and resources, including a newly-updated manual on state certification requirements and educational programming.

Other fiscal year 2017 report findings and facts about SSSPP in Michigan:

• Eighty percent of graduates had no bench warrants issued while in the program.

• Graduates averaged 201 drug and alcohol tests while in the program, and nearly 100 percent of them passed.

• Twenty-five circuit courts have SSSPPs, which covers 28 counties.

• There are more than 1,200 current probationers.

• As the number of programs and probationers continues to increase, the cost per probationer continues to decrease.

SSSPP participants are closely monitored through frequent meetings with Michigan Department of Corrections probation and/or court case management staff and are often tested for drug or alcohol use.

SSSPPs aim to improve probationer success by imposing immediate and short jail sanctions for probation violations. Michigan’s SSSPP started in 2012 with four courts.

The Supreme Court collects data on these programs to identify and share best practices and to target areas that need improvement.

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