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What is the STAR Program?

May 12, 2017 |

The Supervision to Aid Re-entry program was designed by federal court officials to sever years ago with the goal to help reduce Philadelphia’s violence and crime rates by looking at the issues ex-offenders face when they return to society. After these ex-offenders have served their time, it is important that their social and family issues are considered when they come back to their normal lives.

The former inmates, under this program, meet in a group every two weeks with a judge to report their progress. During the time in between, the former inmates are often mandated to participate in vocational training and parenting classes. The program lasts 52 weeks in its entirety. Beyond helping these inmates readjust into society, the program also helps to reduce their court-supervised release by as much as a year. Classes are kept small, with about 15 to 20 ex-inmates per class.

How is the STAR Program Different from Probation?

The two are often confused with one another in the city, but they hold key differences. Probation is a period of supervised release that is an alternative to more jail or prison time. This releases the inmate back into society with certain special conditions attached, such as drug testing, meeting with an officer every week, and so on. If probation is violated, the person is then sent back for the rest of their sentence.

In the STAR Program, the inmates have already been released from jail in most cases. The focus is to prepare ex-offenders for the transition back into society rather than to lessen sentencing time. The program also aims to instill positive behavior and help give the ex-inmate skills and a future. This is to curb the risk of the inmates ending up back in violent patterns and a life of crime.

There is hope that the program is making progress and addressing the logistical issues of returning to society after serving time. The goal is to give former inmates the tools and resources needed to fully rehabilitate back into society without their served time haunting them.

If you have a loved one in jail you feel would benefit from this program, or want to have their case re-opened for the possibility of probation, contact our attorneys at Malamut & Associates today. We will look at your case and help figure out the best options for you.