As experienced criminal lawyers, we are frequently asked about the different probation drug programs that might be required or ordered by the Court as a condition of probation. One of the main drug programs that probation requires is SAPPF, or the Substance Abuse Felony Punishment Facility, a program run through the Texas Department of Corrections.
Here is some useful information about the SAFPF program.
WHAT IS THE SAFPF PROGRAM?
SAFPF is a Substance Abuse Treatment Facility designed for persons under felony probation or confinement that have been identified as having a substance abuse problem (drug and/or alcohol). The typical SAFPF participant has a history of drug or alcohol abuse and many times have had repeated substance abuse treatment failures at lower levels of treatment, such as IOP, IDT, or ISF. SAFPF also has special needs units to address mental disorders as well as personality disorders, physical disabilities, medication and their interaction with substance abuse.
Upon completion of the initial SAFPF phase in a secure confinement facility which is typically around 6 months, participants typically enter a residential transitional treatment center (halfway house). During this second phase of SAFPF, the focus of treatment is on making a successful transition to the community through finding suitable employment, peer support, and family reintegration. Many counties, including Tarrant County, also have a reentry court program that participants will begin to attend at this phase. During the third and final phase of SAFPF, participants are released to the community to complete an outpatient treatment program and to continue participation in the SAFPF re-entry court.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE SAFPF PROGRAM?
To be eligible for SAFPF, the probationer must meet the following criteria:
- Must be screened for eligibility prior to admission (prosecutor no longer order SAFPF as a condition of the plea bargain);
- Assessed as needing restrictive and intensive substance abuse treatment services;
- Probationer must be on a felony probation (straight or deferred probation), except sex offenses or violent offense;
- No pending charges or holds;
- Exhibit no signs of acute alcohol or drug withdrawal and has been detoxified;
- Must be physically and mentally capable of participation;
- Must be court ordered.
For SAFPF Special Needs units:
- Current Axis 1 diagnosis, or
- Must have a medical condition requiring additional services, or
- Must have severe mobility impairment.
WHAT IS SAFPF RE-ENTRY COURT?
The SAFPF re-entry court is a specialized drug court for SAFPF graduates during the aftercare portion of the SAFPF program. Participants in the Re-entry Court report at least every two weeks on a Re-entry Court docket to meet with the supervising judge, community supervision (probation) officer and treatment provider. Success is recognized and rewarded through incentives, while violations are addressed consistently and swiftly with court administered sanctions.
The measure of success for the program is the ability of the graduates to remain free of both substance abuse and criminal activity. Addiction to drugs and alcohol is typically a chronic condition prone to relapse. While this program is certainly not a “magic potion” that “cures” participants, the SAFPF program has proven to be effective in resolving one of the primary causes of criminal behavior and personal destruction in the offender population. Successful completion of SAFPF has shown to make a marked difference in the lives of offenders and their families.
SAFPF is part of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice – Institutional Division. SAFPF Units in Texas include:
- East Texas Treatment Unit (Male), Henderson, Texas
- Estelle Unit (Special Needs/Male), Huntsville, Texas
- Jester I Unit (Special Needs/Male), Richmond, Texas
- Johnston Unit (Male), Winnsboro, Texas
- Hackberry Unit (Special Needs/Female), Gatesville, Texas
- Halbert Unit (Female), Burnet, Texas
- Henley Unit (Special Needs/Female), Dayton, Texas
SAFPF ATTORNEYS IN TARRANT COUNTY, TEXAS
Hoeller McLaughlin PLLC offers experienced SAFPF attorneys. Our criminal lawyers are all former Tarrant County prosecutors with extensive experience helping clients with all phases of the SAFPF process. SAFPF is ordered by the Court as a condition of probation. Many times, SAFPF is required after multiple failed drug tests and/or when a probationer is facing a probation revocation. If you need help with a probation revocation or with SAFPF, our lawyers are here for you. Call us today at 817-334-7900.