Utah recently introduced an innovative program that could help people who have been charged and convicted with certain federal crimes to avoid jail time. Called the Utah Alternatives to Conviction Track (U-ACT), it involves a combination of possible special incentives, court supervision and involvement, treatment options, and alternatives to penalties or jail/prison time.
The intent and purpose of this post-guilty diversion program is to lessen the repeat offender occurrences that seem to plague most states.
The hope is that if the convicted person voluntarily agrees to enter and actively participate in the program, it could properly address the improper behavior of the person and the reasons behind their criminal activities. This in kind should reduce recidivism, be conducive to rehabilitation, and will therefore increase the security and safety of citizens.
The program requires the offender to first enter a guilty plea in order to be eligible for the benefits of the program. They are then required to regularly participate in a variety of programs and meetings specifically developed for their unique circumstances and behavioral concerns. Reports in reference to their progress will be submitted to the court to gauge their likelihood of rehabilitation. If they successfully complete all aspects of the program, they will be rewarded with either a reduction in sentence and be placed on probation instead of receiving jail time, or the judge may even dismiss the charges against them. If they fail to satisfactory complete the requirements, they will proceed to sentencing on the charges originally filed against them. As you can see, there is a huge incentive for the offender to take this program seriously and to participate accordingly.
- The program is open to two categories of offenders:
- Individuals with minimal criminal histories, and the current felony charges seem to not be a result of regular criminal behavior or tendencies.
- Individuals who have more serious criminal histories, but the criminal behavior seems to be linked to substance abuse or other similar problems.
- Individuals excluded are those subject to deportation, involved with child exploitation, or involved with large scale narcotics operations or certain violent crimes.
The program is very limited and therefore highly competitive. But for those lucky enough to qualify and make it into the program, it could mean giving them their freedom and a chance at a future without a life of crime. Let the experienced attorneys at Spencer & Collier, LLC help, and call them at 801-566-1884 for an appointment.