Swift and Certain

Washington State Department of Corrections’ (WADOC) community supervision policy underwent a substantive transformation in 2012. WADOC developed Swift and Certain (SAC), which was modeled after the HOPE program in Hawaii. HOPE focused on treatment of low-level drug offenders, but WADOC’s Swift and Certain (SAC) program expanded this model to a wider range of the community-based criminal justice population. While SAC emphasizes celerity and certainty of response to behavioral violations by low-level offenders, it employs the use of a “Behavior Accountability Guide” that instructs law-enforcement officials in how to employ other types of accountability sanctions that would minimize confinement time. The impact of SAC is thus reduced confinement time as a mode of punishment, and consequently, an overall reduction in cost. An evaluation of SAC by Washington State University (WSU) found that SAC participants have fewer incarceration days following a behavioral violation, and overall are at a reduced risk of recidivism and conviction. These overall reductions saved WADOC and Washington State Taxpayers $16.00 to every $1.00 spent on SAC.

Download more info about SAC and WSU’s program evaluation here.