In June 1997, the General Assembly appropriated new state funds to support the development and implementation of drug and alcohol treatment-based restrictive intermediate punishment programs. The D&A/RIP funding is specifically for the treatment of offenders who fall under Levels 3 or 4 of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines.
Offenders at Levels 3 or 4 of the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines who are being considered for treatment-based RIP sentences must receive a drug and alcohol assessment and clinical evaluation prior to imposition of the sentence. The purpose is to determine dependency issues and the recommended modality of treatment. A treatment-based RIP sentence must be consistent with the recommendations of the required clinical evaluation regarding the level of care and length of stay in treatment, regardless of the standard range sentencing guideline recommendation.
These projects are linking drug and alcohol treatment with a combination of restrictive sanctions including: Residential Rehabilitation Centers; Halfway Houses; Day Reporting Centers; Work Release Centers; Intensive Supervision with Electronic Monitoring; House Arrest with Intensive Supervision; and House Arrest with Electronic Monitoring.
All participating counties have approved Intermediate Punishment Plans on file with PCCD. Further, PCCD’s Intermediate Punishment Regulations (37 Pa. Code §451) require all counties to operate their approved programs in compliance with established minimum standards (37 Pa. Code §§451.111-451.124).
Participating counties are involved in an ongoing evaluation effort to assess local impact and effectiveness of these programs. The goals of the evaluation effort are to document the extent to which program sentences divert offenders from incarceration and to document offender outcomes such as re-involvement with drugs and related criminal activity.