Forensic Intensive Recovery

The Forensic Intensive Recovery (FIR) Program was implemented in response to a federal consent decree that required the City of Philadelphia to reduce its inmate population. Initially, eligible inmates received substance abuse treatment and support services outside of the institutions through early parole and re-parole. Today, FIR is a prison deferral initiative that offers eligible participants substance abuse treatment in lieu of incarceration. 

PHMC is responsible for operating the Clinical Evaluation Unit (CEU), which evaluates eligible participants for chemical dependency; refers them to community-based providers for residential, intensive outpatient and regular outpatient treatment services; and provides case management services for FIR program participants. The Office of Addiction Services (OAS) of the Philadelphia Department of Behavioral Health Intellectual Disability Services (DBHIDS) funds this program. All participants must be referred through the Defender Association of Philadelphia.  

Services provided include behavioral health assessments, substance abuse treatment and referrals for vocational and educational support.

Case Management and Probation Supervision are required to receive these services. 


Intermediate Punishment Program

All participants must be referred through the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Participants must be nonviolent offenders listed at Levels 3 and 4 in accordance with the Pennsylvania Commission of Sentencing Guidelines. Once determined eligible, participants are evaluated for chemical dependency by the Clinical Evaluation Unit (CEU) and, when appropriate, sentenced to IPP. Guidelines for the participant to obtain treatment acceptance are similar to the FIR Program.

Services include:

  • Behavioral health assessments 
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • Vocational trainings
  • Case management
  • Intensive probation supervision

Electronic monitoring is required for participants in nonresidential treatment.

Accelerated Misdemeanor Program

Accelerated Misdemeanor Program (AMP) 1 & 2 offers defendants charged with nonviolent misdemeanors the opportunity to have their case heard in a police district courtroom, rather than in the Municipal court system. Individuals can agree to perform community service and pay a fine, without entering a guilty plea, in exchange for the case not going to trial. The arrest may then be expunged, based on timely compliance. In addition, some individuals (AMP 2) are stipulated by the court to participate in social services as part of the pretrial agreement.

Ancillary services include substance abuse assessment, case monitoring, resource coordination and behavioral health education.

These services are also available to AMP 1 individuals on a voluntary basis.


Domestic Violence Diversion Court

Domestic Violence Intervention Court (DVC) is available only to first- or second-time offenders in instances when the victim does not wish to press charges against the perpetrator. The goal is for the early intervention and placement of offenders into clinically appropriate treatment to prevent further abuse and possible death of the victim. In an attempt to intervene and assist both victim and perpetrator in domestic violence cases, the PHMC Clinical Evaluation Unit assesses the need for and arranges for participant placement, treatment authorization and payment for drug and alcohol and/or mental health treatment, case management, anger management and family therapy. Once the participant (defendant) has satisfied this treatment requirement and there have not been any further incidents or problems with the complainant/victim, the court will withdraw all prosecution and the case is discharged. The case can be expunged from the record in a process initiated by the defendant 30 days after the prosecution withdraws the case.


Driving Under the Influence Services

In 2004, more restrictive Driving Under the Influence (DUI) legislation became effective that requires all DUI offenders to receive a clinical assessment to determine necessity of treatment and a court reporting network assessment (CRN). The Office of the DUI Coordinator (ODC) is currently located at the Criminal Justice Center. After the pre-sentence hearing, all state-required services (the CRN evaluation, assessment for drug and alcohol treatment services and Alcohol Highway Safety School classes) are assigned to one of eight approved DUI Service Providers throughout the city according to geographic location and/or language considerations. The Office of the DUI Coordinator processes only conviction status cases of Philadelphia residents with DUI offenses arrested in Philadelphia. Once the participant has met all criteria, the Clerk of Courts issues a court order compliance form to PennDOT to process the restoration of driving privilege request.


Driving Under the Influence Treatment Court

The Driving Under the Influence Treatment Court (DUI-TC) is a highly structured program that combines periods of incarceration, community based treatment, probation and judicial supervision. The DUI-TC target population includes second- and third-time offenders in need of drug and/or alcohol treatment.






Family Court Clinical Evaluation Unit

The court provides for the behavioral health needs of the child and his/her family by offering assessment, treatment and case monitoring services that will determine, in large measure, the outcome of the hearings. Cases are referred to Family Court (FC) for review by the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS). When necessary, the court will order drug and alcohol assessments, which are conducted by clinical evaluation staff. The clinical evaluation unit assigned to FC also provides case monitoring services and process Medical Assistance (MA) applications for eligible participants. Clinical assessment and case monitoring services are available in all dependency courtrooms. The Clinical Evaluation Unit also conducts assessments and monitors treatment progress for adolescents from the Reasonable Efforts in Assessment, Access and Prevention (REAAP) Unit. Pennsylvania Act 53 permits the involuntary commitment of children under 18 to substance abuse treatment. Parents or legal guardians with a child may petition a judge to have the child assessed and placed into substance abuse treatment. A clinical evaluation report is submitted for consideration by the judge.


Juvenile Treatment Court

Juvenile Treatment Court (JTC) is a diversion project at Family Court designed to engage non-violent substance abusing juvenile offenders in appropriate treatment under the supervision of the presiding JTC judge and the JTC Review Team. The Evaluator assigned to JTC performs behavioral health assessments for these juveniles and refers them to treatment. The work of the Juvenile Treatment Court is aimed at motivating and supporting program participants to complete the program and to graduate.

The Clinical Evaluation Unit (CEU) clinical staff is a part of the JTC team, including a dedicated Judge, Public Defender, District Attorney, School District Representative, Juvenile Probation Department and Family Court Juvenile Services staff.

The target population is non-violent substance-abusing juveniles charged with eligible offenses and having eligible prior delinquent histories. Completion qualifies the participant to have his/her criminal record expunged after remaining arrest-free for one year. Failure to complete the treatment and requirements may result in incarceration.


Philadelphia Treatment Court

Public Health Management Corporation, with funding from OAS, provides evaluation and case management services to offenders brought before Philadelphia Treatment Court (PTC). PTC offers first time drug felony offenders an opportunity to be evaluated for substance abuse treatment and, if treatment is needed, to plead nolo contendere to their crime, enter a treatment program under close judicial supervision, which requires frequent court appearances, to avoid incarceration. With a plea of no contest or nolo contendere, the defendant accepts the punishment for the crime without admitting or denying his guilt. In other words, you don’t contest or challenge the charges, and you don’t admit to committing the crime or even deny it, but you let the court sentence you for committing the crime.

Program completion qualifies the participant to have his/her criminal record expunged after remaining arrest-free for one year. Failure to complete the treatment and requirements may result in incarceration.


Project DAWN Court

Project DAWN Court (PDC) was founded in January 2010 to address the growing number of women arrested for prostitution who were violating the conditions of the probation and parole by either relapse or recidivism. PDC is committed to providing treatment and support services for women so they can break free from the cycle of re-arrest and incarceration. PDC specifically targets women with three or more prior prostitution or prostitution-related convictions.   Referrals can come from a number of sources including prosecutors and public defenders, private defense attorneys, judges and the probation department.  Participants are expected to participate in a four-phase sequential recovery program.  These phases include attendance at intensive treatment services as well as collateral services provided through JJPI which will provide mental health and specialized services to address the needs of participants. The FIR initiative completes the behavioral health assessments to determine level of care for addictions treatment as well as provides case management support for participants who are active in the project.