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Sunday, April 5, 2015

Sentencing Alternatives: The State Intermediate Punishment Program

               If you have been convicted of a crime in which substance abuse was a contributing factor, the State Intermediate Punishment Program (SIP) may be offered as an alternative to a state prison sentence. SIP is a program designed for offenders convicted of drug-related offenses. Those sentenced to an SIP sentence receive a flat 2 year sentence that may potentially be followed by a term of probation.

               SIP is a 24 month program. 7 months must be served in prison, and 4 of those 7 months must be spent in a therapeutic community. Afterwards, a minimum of two months is served in a community-based therapeutic community, and then a minimum of six months in outpatient treatment, where the offender will usually be housed in a halfway house.  Any time left remaining after these phases is served on supervised reintegration into the community.  During that time DOC staff will monitor their progress in the community and offer additional services or treatment plans tailored to their individual needs. Each offender in SIP has a personalized treatment plan to help them address their substance abuse issues.

               The choice of whether to pursue participation in the SIP program is both a personal one as well as strategic. SIP is an excellent program to help offenders who have failed at other forms of inpatient treatment to finally kick their addiction issues. An SIP sentence may be a shorter alternative to a lengthy state prison sentence. However, failure to complete SIP has repercussions.  A defendant does not automatically receive credit for time served under an SIP sentence, so upon revocation much of the defendant’s time served under the SIP sentence may not be credited towards any sentence received upon re-sentencing.  Also, depending on the nature of the offense SIP is offered as a sentencing alternative for, the SIP sentence may be longer, or shorter than the standard range sentence the judge may have been contemplating in the offender's case. 

               If you have been accused of a crime where drugs and/or alcohol were a contributing factor or are facing a parole or probation revocation in which they are, it is important that you know what the SIP program entails as it may be a viable sentencing alternative for you.  Attorney Frank Walker knows the ins and outs of the SIP program and can counsel you on the pros and cons of pursuing the program. Call Frank Walker Law today at 412-315-7441 for a consultation.

Pittsburgh Criminal Defense & Injury Attorney Frank Walker
Pittsburgh Criminal Defense - Injury Site
Morgantown, West Virginia Criminal Defense Site
1-800-496-4143 Toll Free
412.315.7441 Office
412.532.6805 Cell

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