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The Tarrant County SWIFT program is a post-plea, intensive probation program that gives high-risk, high-need offenders an opportunity to change — and immediate sanctions for probation violations. The program is overseen by state District Judge Mollee Westfall and is aimed at motivating noncompliant probationers to follow the rules.
SWIFT, or Supervision With Intensive enForcemenT, uses a progressive sanction model to initiate change in the behavior of probationers. Typically, a probationer outside of the SWIFT program may have a number of minor violations before being revoked. SWIFT is different because each minor violation is addressed immediately. For instance, a SWIFT probationer may spend a weekend in jail for their first dirty UA. A second violation for the same thing may result in a week in jail. These sanctions are generally imposed the day after the violation is reported, instead of weeks or months later.
Judge Westfall also requires honesty from SWIFT probationers. It is not uncommon to see a SWIFT probationer at the bench being reminded that a sanction for lying about an offense will result in a greater sanction than the one imposed for a truthful admission. Many SWIFT probationers have reported that they stopped violating their probation conditions because they knew they would get caught.
Probationers are also aware that violating probation by committing a new offense will almost certain result in a probation revocation and prison sentence. The goal of SWIFT is to prevent future offenses by implementing quick and meaningful sanctions for even minor violations.
National studies of programs almost identical to SWIFT have shown probationers in this type of program are half as likely to be revoked altogether and half as likely to commit new offenses. An example of a Tarrant County SWIFT success story is featured here.
High risk offenders are being diverted from prison and saving taxpayers thousands of dollars.
If you or a loved one is ready for significant changes that can keep you out of prison for a felony offense, contact one of our attorneys at (817) 203-2220 or online. The SWIFT program is tough and it is not for everyone. We have numerous clients who have had exception results on SWIFT probation.