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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 156150 Find in a Library
Title: Sheriff's Work Alternative Program: Paying Back the Community
Journal: Compiler  Dated:(Winter/Spring 1995)  Pages:4-6
Author(s): K Turnbaugh
Corporate Author: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
United States of America
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority
Chicago, IL 60606
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Program Description (Demonstrative)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Operated by the Cook County (Illinois) Sheriff's Department of Community Supervision and Intervention, the Sheriff's Work Alternative Program (SWAP) is the first in the U.S. to sentence nonviolent felons and misdemeanants to supervised community work instead of jail.
Abstract: SWAP was started in 1984 to alleviate jail overcrowding in the county. The program originally offered an alternative sentence to convicted drunk drivers. Offenders are charged a $25 registration fee as well as $1 for every hour they work. These fees cover the costs of transportation and safety vests. More than 32,000 offenders have participated in SWAP, which has the reputation of being a tough program, with 80 percent successfully completing their sentence. How jail time translates into SWAP time is up to the judge's discretion, but usually follows a day-for-day pattern. The offender and supervising officer select the timetable that will allow him or her to complete the sentence in the most timely fashion. SWAP sentences do provide flexibility to allow offenders to continue attending their job or school. Each day, SWAP participants report to one of seven locations across the county and are then divided into smaller work groups. Jobs include painting, pulling weeds, sweeping streets, and washing vehicles. All SWAP labor is performed by hand. SWAP officials estimate that only 20 percent of participants are convicted of new crimes after completing the program, compared to a 70-75 percent recidivism rate for offenders given jail sentences.
Main Term(s): Corrections
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Community-based corrections (adult); Illinois; Program design
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