The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania proudly supports three Problem-Solving Courts: the STAR Re-entry Court, Relapse Prevention Court, and STRIDES Mental Health Court.
The STAR Re-entry Court program, which started over a decade ago, has continuously been viewed nationwide as the leading prisoner re-entry program in the federal system. STAR is a partnership between U.S. Probation, the U.S. District Court, the Federal Community Defender Office, and our Office. Together, our team provides intensive supervision and resources to individuals who are returning home to Philadelphia from federal prison and are at high risk of recidivism for violent crime. Over the last year, 22 participants successfully graduated from STAR. Since STAR's inception in 2007, only 10% of graduates have been arrested or revoked and only 14.6% of participants have been arrested or revoked. Those rates are significantly below the District's 34.5% revocation rate for similarly situated individuals not enrolled in STAR.
Launched in October 2018, Relapse Prevention Court (RPC) focuses on opportunities for long-term recovery from substance use and facilitates successful completion of participants' terms of supervised release. RPC held its first graduation in 2019 to celebrate three participants' successful completion of the program. RPC has reached its capacity goal of ten participants, all of whom are currently maintaining their recovery.
The STRIDES Mental Health Court was initially launched in 2010 and is dedicated to maximizing opportunities for long-term mental health stability for participants who are diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness. The program seeks to prevent recidivism, promote public safety, and assist participants with the many social, familial, and logistical issues they currently face. It was selected as a pilot program for Congress' 21st Century Cures Act. Our Office participated in a successful two-day training session with other federal judicial districts with similar programs in order to share ideas and learn about best practices for successfully implementing the program.