Bentonville Probation Ramifications
Guiding You Through Post-Conviction in Rogers, AR; Fayetteville, AR; Springdale, AR
Probation ramifications can be quite complex and nuanced to understand, especially when there are various options with specific eligibility and program requirements. Let an experienced attorney help you evaluate the various probation ramification programs in Bentonville, from parole to drug courts to community correction centers. Attorney Ramon Bertucci can examine your situation and what supervision options you have in Arkansas following conviction.
Parole and Probation
Arkansas offers two basic supervision options as alternatives to the conventional prison sentence – parole and probation. Parole is early release from state prison to community supervision, in which the parolee must follow strict conditions of release set by the Parole Board and include reporting to a parole officer. If a parolee is accused of violating their parole, a revocation hearing judge will determine their conditions of supervision and if re-incarceration in prison or a community correction center are appropriate.
Probation is a court-ordered alternative to prison where the offender remains in the community but is subject to conditions of behavior. While on probation, a person must also report regularly to a probation officer. Any violation of probation terms and conditions may result in revocation of probation by the sentencing judge, who may decide whether or not to send the individual to prison or a community correction center or have other sanctions imposed.
Arkansas Community Correction (ACC) uses a comprehensive statewide case management system to assist in the supervision of offenders. Generally, offenders on parole or probation are offered a wide variety of programming options to help decrease the likelihood of committing crimes again. Additionally, certified substance abuse program counselors may provide treatment to offenders dealing with alcohol, drug, and tobacco addiction, and offenders may also be referred by their parole/probation officers to programs such as financial education, employment skills, anger management, life skills, and general education.
Parole and probation supervision provides an opportunity for convicted individuals to live and work in their community while completing the remainder of their sentence (note that random drug screenings may occur), and successful completion of the program can even lead to an earlier termination of the original sentence if not only to help avoid serving an entire sentence in prison.
Specialty Courts in Arkansas
For medium and high-risk offenders, ACC may transfer individuals to specialty courts, which include the Drug Court, Veterans’ Court, and HOPE/Swift Courts.
The Drug Court provides intensive supervision and treatment to drug offenders through a team of professionals including judges, law enforcement, prosecutors, counselors, treatment providers, and supervision officers. The team provides appropriate incentives, sanctions, and services to complete substance abuse treatment. Successful completion of the drug court program may lead to the dismissal of charges, reduced sentences, and/or lesser penalties.
Veterans’ Courts are specifically tailored to treating military veterans who pled guilty to a criminal offense before being placed on probation supervision. The Veterans’ Courts services are provided in collaboration with the Veterans’ Administration, as well as local mental health and substance abuse facilities. Individuals enrolled in the program may be subject to random drug screening, treatment participation, court appearances, and mandatory group counseling.
Lastly, the Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) and Swift Courts provide honest opportunity probation with swift and certain accountability utilizing graduated sanctions. The program was created by the Public Safety Improvement Act of 2011, and participating offenders are usually high risk probationers who are not complying with their current probation requirements. The goal of this program is to help offenders complete their sentence and sustain a healthy lifestyle without re-offending.
Mental Health Courts
ACC also offers treatment-oriented programming for probationers with a mental health disorder. The mental health courts generally target offenders who have a misdemeanor with a 6-12-month sentence. Similarly to drug courts, mental health courts divert offenders into a treatment program in lieu of jail time.
Community Correction Centers (CCC) offer structure, supervision, drug/alcohol treatment, educational and vocational programs, employment counseling, socialization and life skills programs, community work transition, as well as other forms of treatment and programs as part of a Modified Therapeutic Community. Offenders with non-violent or non-sex related offenses may be ordered to a CCC in one of 3 ways:
- Judicial Transfer – the offender is sentenced to a drug court with a transfer to incarceration at a CCC where the sentence is 4 years or less; completion of therapeutic programming may lead to parole release, if approved by the Parole Board
- Probation Plus – probationers may be ordered by the judge, as an added condition of their probation, to serve up to 365 days of incarceration at a CCC, after which they will return to probation
- Drug Court Short-Term Treatment – drug court participants may be sanctioned by their judge to 30, 60, or 90 days of intensive drug treatment at a CCC, after which they will return to the drug court program
Contact Bertucci Law Firm for More Information
Depending on your situation, you may have a few different probation ramification options. While probation is a common post-conviction option, drug courts and other community correction programs may also be ordered. Bertucci Law Firm can better help you evaluate your ramification options and help you navigate the program processes.
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