Once the defendant is determined competent, program enrollment will occur at the point of a Court ordered Plea agreement, including the following five components:
- A plea of guilty to the agreed upon charge(s), with sentencing adjourned until either: completion of the mandated ATI residential treatment phase or early discharge from the ATI
- Issuance by the Judge of an unsecured surety bond or minimal bail pursuant to New York State Criminal Procedural Law section 510.10(5), as a condition of the Plea and release to the ATI, to be enforced by a bond agent specifically trained by and contracted with Hope House, rather than by the police.
- A commitment by the Court to a sentence requiring no further incarceration upon full completion of the ATI program, but could include a period of post release supervision, including, where appropriate, an agreement for a term of probation;
- A stated sentence of incarceration that will be imposed if the defendant/client does not complete the program, which sentence will be no greater than that which would have been imposed in the absence of program participation; and
- A commitment that, should the defendant/client be unable to complete the full ATI program, the sentence that the defendant/client receives will be reduced by one day for each day that the defendant/client spent in treatment.
In some instances, the defendant will be facing a mandatory sentence of incarceration based upon the level of the felony charge or because of prior felony convictions.
Intake of such cases will require the district attorney to reduce the charge to which the defendant/client pleads guilty to one for which a non-custodial sentence is legally permissible.
In the alternative, if the district attorney is unwilling to reduce the charge(s) at the intake or plea stage prior to seeing how the defendant/client will participate in Hope House’s services, intake will require an agreement by the district attorney, on the record, that upon successful program completion, the client will be able to withdraw a plea to the felony requiring mandatory incarceration and enter a plea either to a felony that allows imposition of a non-prison sentence or to a misdemeanor, should dismissal of all charges not be deemed appropriate.