The Swift Certain 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:• Develop and implement supervision strategies based on the SCF principles, including responses to positive and negative client behavior.• Evaluate the efficacy of those strategies to reduce recidivism.• Increase the number of supervision decisions (e.g., assignment of conditions of supervision and responses to violations of those conditions, responses to antisocial behavior that do not rise to the level of violating conditions of supervision) that are fair and consistently applied, and with consequences that are transparent.• Promote and increase collaboration among agencies and officials who work in probation, parole, pretrial, law enforcement, treatment, reentry, and related community corrections fields.• Develop a plan to sustain SCF supervision strategies and related collaborations beyond the award period.• Develop and implement strategies for the identification, targeting, supervision, and treatment of "high risk/high needs" offenders who are being supervised in the community.• Increase the number of participants in programs based on the SCF model who believe that the supervision decisions are fair and consistently applied, and the consequences are transparent.Since it was launched in fiscal year (FY) 2011, the SCF initiative has awarded a total of $15,576,014 to 24 grantees and their research partners. For a list of grantees, visit www.bja.gov/funding.aspx#3.
For guidance about identifying and working with a research partner, visit: http://www.psnmsu.com/documents/ResearchPartnerQ&A.pdf.The following resources provide information on developing, implementing, and evaluating SCF strategies:• BJA Center for Research Partnerships and Program Evaluation (CRPPE)https://www.bja.gov/programs/crppe/
• Anchorage Probation Accountability with Certain Enforcement (PACE) www.ajc.state.ak.us/reports/pace2011.pdf (Alaska Judicial Council, September 2011) and http://justice.uaa.alaska.edu/forum/28/2-3summerfall2011/c_pace.html (Alaska Justice Forum, October 2017)
• CrimeSolutions.gov: Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE)http://www.crimesolutions.gov/ProgramDetails.aspx?id=49
• Example of a Warning Hearinghttp://www.nij.gov/topics/corrections/community/drug-offenders/documents/229023-appendix-2-example-warning-hearing.pdf
• National Institute of Justice (NIJ) "Swift and Certain" sanctions web pagehttp://www.nij.gov/topics/corrections/community/drug-offenders/pages/hawaii-hope.aspx
• National Network for Safe Communities: Swift, Certain, and Fairhttp://nnscommunities.org/our-work/strategy/swift-certain-fair
• NIJ Report: Managing Drug-Involved Offendershttps://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/247315.pdf (Angela Hawken, Steven Davenport, Mark A.R. Kleiman; July 2014)
• South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety projectwww.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_briefs/2012/RAND_RB9692.pdf and http://www.rand.org/pubs/external_publications/EP51155.html (RAND Corporation, December 6, 2012)
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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:• Connect grantees to research and resources, learning opportunities, and outside expertise through a library of publications, tools, and news items on SCF principles and models, regular distance learning opportunities (e.g., webinars) with national practitioners and academic experts, and individual consultation with subject matter experts and experienced practitioners.• Support implementation through on- and off-site technical assistance. Includes guidance to develop sanctions and rewards schemes and partnering with other justice agencies; assess and improve policies and practices; offer insights on roadblocks that past grantees have encountered and strategies used to work around them. Also offers tools to develop a strategic plan to prioritize, implement, and sustain SCF efforts.• Link grantees to peers by hosting peer learning forums, as well as referrals to peers and past SCF recipients with similar programs and objectives, and holding forums to publicize grantees' work and to facilitate learning from the work of peers.
For additional information, visit http://scfcenter.org/.
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Innovative Responses to Behavior in the Community: Swift, Certain, and Fair Supervision
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 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
810 Seventh Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20531
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