Van Buren County Gets Grant For Swift and Sure

Law Enforcement Endorsement PicWSJM – Radio

Jason Scott Reporting

The Swift and Sure Probation Program is expanding. State Senator John Proos says Van Buren County has accepted a $250,000 grant to set it up, making it the third county in Southwest Michigan to establish the cost-saving program.

Berrien County has had the program for three years. Since its inception positive drug tests have fallen by 70%. Cass County received over $280,000 to establish a similar system back in February.

Advertisements

Expanded Program Helping Reduce Prison Costs While Protecting Public

Law Enforcement Endorsement PicMichigan spends too much on its prison system, especially when compared to neighboring states.

In an ongoing effort to reduce our costs without jeopardizing public safety, I created the Swift and Sure Sanctions Program based on a Hawaiian program with a record of reducing crime and drug use by probationers and saving taxpayer dollars.

Probationers in Hawaii’s HOPE program were less likely to use drugs, be arrested for a new crime, skip appointments with their supervisory officer or have their probation revoked. The result was they also served or were sentenced to almost half the number of days in prison. I included the program in the Fiscal Year 2012 state budget as a pilot project for areas with combined courts or drug courts.

In the current FY 2013 budget, I expanded it to allow more counties to apply, and in January the governor signed my legislation to make the pilot program permanent.

I am pleased to announce that 11 counties are now participating in the program, up from only four counties in 2011-12. In Southwest Michigan, Cass and Kalamazoo counties have joined Berrien County with Swift and Sure programs.

This progress is great news for taxpayers, because it is estimated that the program could save Michigan taxpayers $25 million every year once expanded statewide.

The Swift and Sure program supervises high-risk probationers and requires frequent, random drug and alcohol testing so that treatment decisions are based on behavior.

It is a system that helps offenders return to productive lives, keeps our communities safe and costs less money – enabling us to focus our resources on other key priorities.

Senate Passes Proos’ “Swift and Sure” Program

WSJM – Radio

The state Senate has approved legislation from Senator John Proos to create what’s called the “Swift and Sure” program for parolees and those on probation. Proos says it’s based on a successful program out of Hawaii that cut the crime rate and drug use by probationers.

The St. Joseph Republican said not only will the program help those who are out of jail by giving them support to prevent more crime, it will also save the Michigan Department of Corrections money. Proos says the 2012 fiscal year’s budget included “Swift and Sure” as a pilot program for counties that have combined criminal and drug courts, and now in the 2013 budget, more counties will be able to apply for the program if the bills pass the House and are signed by Governor Snyder.