The Swift Certain and Fair (SCF) Initiative provides grants and assistance to states, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribes to develop, implement, and test an SCF program model.The SCF Initiative is part of BJA's Innovations in Public Safety portfolio, also known as the "Innovations Suite." BJA's Innovations Suite of programs invests in the development of practitioner-researcher partnerships that use data, evidence, and innovation to create strategies and interventions that are effective and economical.The SCF principles are: swiftness—respond to behavior promptly so that offenders connect the response to their behavior; certainty—be consistent and predictable with sanctions; and fairness—make sanctions proportionate to negative behavior. These principles can have a positive impact by reducing antisocial and criminal behavior; enhancing offenders' perceptions that supervision decisions are fair, which increases compliance; and increasing collaboration with justice partners.The SCF Initiative is strongly grounded in research that shows crime is generally committed by people for whom deferred and low probability threats of severe punishment are less effective than immediate and high probability threats of mild punishment. And a broad body of behavioral research shows that swift and certain rewards for positive behavior can be powerful incentives to comply with rules. Swift and certain responses to probationers violating their terms of probation send a consistent message about personal responsibility and accountability. Additionally, research has shown that swift and consistent responses to behaviors improve the perception that the system is fair and increases compliance.Given the growing body of research and practice reinforcing the potential of approaches that employ the core SCF concepts, BJA supports jurisdictions and agencies interested in developing or enhancing their SCF efforts with implementation models informed by research and responsive to local circumstances. Since every jurisdiction has a unique set of circumstances, the problem, environment, and resources are different, and those differences must be reflected in design decisions.The objectives of the SCF initiative are to:
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The Swift Certain Fair (SCF) Resource Center provides technical assistance to help SCF grantees make the most of their federal grant dollars to support sustainable, successful, and evidence-based SCF initiatives. The SCF Resource Center also provides support to non-grantee practitioners, researchers, and others in the field. The SCF Resource Center can:
For additional information, visit http://scfcenter.org/.
"Swift and Certain" Sanctions in Probation Are Highly Effective: Evaluation of the HOPE Program
National Network for Safe Communities: Swift, Certain, & Fair
Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA): Center for Research Partnerships and Program Evaluation (CRPPE)
CrimeSolutions.gov: Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE)
More BJA Publications
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The following resources provide information on developing, implementing, and evaluating SCF strategies:
Innovative Responses to Behavior in the Community: Swift, Certain, and Fair Supervision
The purpose of the FY 2019 Innovative Responses to Behavior in the Community: Swift, Certain, and Fair Supervision Program opportunity is to provide state and local parole and probation agencies with information, resources, and training and technical assistance to improve responses to offender behavior in accordance with the principles of swiftness, certainty, and fairness, in order to prevent recidivism and reduce crime in their jurisdictions. Apply by: June 25, 2019.
FY 2019 Swift, Certain, Fair Grant Webinar
BJA will host an informational webinar on May 17, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. ET, to provide information for state, local, and tribal jurisdictions that are interested in implementing a Swift, Certain, and Fair (SCF) Supervision Program Model through BJA's FY 2019 Innovative Responses to Behavior in the Community: Swift, Certain, and Fair Supervision solicitation.
The FY 2018 Innovative Responses to Behavior in the Community: Swift, Certain, and Fair Supervision solicitation is now available. The purpose of this opportunity is to provide state and local parole and probation agencies with information, resources, and training and technical assistance to improve responses to offender behavior in accordance with the principles of swiftness, certainty, and fairness to prevent recidivism and reduce crime in their jurisdictions. Apply by: May 14, 2018.
Innovative Responses to Behavior in the Community: Swift, Certain, and Fair Supervision FY 2019 Competitive Grant AnnouncementApplication Deadline: 06/25/2019, 11:59 PMBJA is seeking applications for funding of projects that implement or enhance a Swift, Certain, and Fair Supervision Program model. This program furthers the Department's mission by reducing recidivism and thereby crime, as part of a comprehensive violent crime reduction strategy.Solicitation Webinar (5/17/2019)
Innovative Responses to Behavior in the Community: Swift, Certain, and Fair SupervisionApplication Deadline: 05/14/2018, 11:59 PMBJA is seeking applications for funding associated with the principles underpinning Project HOPE for: (1) states, localities, and tribes to implement or enhance a Swift, Certain, and Fair Supervision Program model; and (2) the Swift, Certain, and Fair Resource Center.Solicitation
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