When you face criminal charges, there is usually the possibility of having the charges dropped or winning an acquittal at trial. An experienced criminal defense lawyer should always have that goal in mind, but they should also be honest and direct about what you can realistically expect. At Fienman Defense, when a trial is not an option, we focus on minimizing the consequences of a conviction. One of the ways we can do this is by pursuing a more manageable penalty for our clients. In some cases, there are alternatives to traditional long-term incarceration that better serve the rehabilitative needs of an offender. One such program is the Pennsylvania Department of Correction’s (DOC) Motivational Boot Camp Program. This boot camp may be an alternative to spending significant time in a state prison.

If you are facing criminal charges that could result in imprisonment, call Fienman Defense right away at (215) 839-9529.

The DOC’s Motivational Boot Camp

The Pennsylvania DOC’s Motivational Boot Camp was created in 1992 and has had thousands of graduates. Located in Quehanna, Pennsylvania, this is a 6-month program that requires physical exercise, work, substance abuse treatment, and if you did not complete high school, educational classes and GED testing. It is styled after a military boot camp, which means attendees follow a very strict regime and will have very little downtime.

The purposes of the boot camp are to:

  • Provide offenders who would normally go into the state prison system with an alternative;
  • Help offenders to gain new skills and become better citizens;
  • Protect the health and safety of the public by reducing recidivism; and
  • Offer structure and discipline to offenders to improve their quality of life after they complete their penalties.

If you complete the Motivational Boot Camp, then you will be released to a Community Correction Center close to your home. You are then closely supervised for 6 months.

Eligibility for the Motivational Boot Camp

Attendees of the boot camp are typically individuals who were found guilty of drug offenses and whose criminal actions stem from substance abuse and addiction. However, you may be able to attend boot camp in place of some or all of your incarceration after you are found guilty of a variety of crimes, though not everyone is eligible.

Quehanna Boot Camp eligibility requires:

  • You must be younger than 40 years;
  • You were not convicted of murder, voluntary manslaughter, drug delivery resulting in death, rape, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, kidnapping, arson, burglary, first-degree felony robbery, or robbery of a vehicle;
  • Your sentence did not include a deadly weapon enhancement;
  • You were originally sentenced to state confinement; and
  • You have been sentenced to a minimum of no more than two years and a maximum of no more than five years in state prison, or you have been sentenced to a minimum of no more than three years and you are within two years of completing your minimum term in state prison.

How to Attend the Motivational Boot Camp

You will not be initially sentenced to attend the Motivational Boot Camp from the judge who presided over your trial and sentenced you after conviction. Instead, the judge will sentence you under the typical guidelines and may recommend you to the DOC as an eligible boot camp attendee. Many judges do not think of this option themselves, which is why at Fienman Defense, if eligible, we will discuss this option with our clients and advise the judge of a client’s interest in participating (if appropriate).

If the DOC approves your admission into the Motivational Boot Camp Program, you have the option of going or not. The boot camp is entirely voluntary. If you choose to go, you always have the option to leave. However, if you leave the camp, you cannot simply move to the parole phase. You must serve out at least your minimum prison sentence before seeking parole.

You can also be sent to the Motivational Boot Camp through State Intermediate Punishment (SIP). As a SIP offender, you will be sentenced to two years at the camp, during which you will go through a series of treatments designed to help you conquer your drug and/or alcohol dependence, starting with four months of intensive, inpatient therapy.

Let Fienman Defense Fight For You

If you have been charged with a crime, contact a Philadelphia criminal defense attorney at Fienman Defense right away. We will aggressively fight to protect your rights and obtain your freedom. However, if you have already been sentenced or are likely to be convicted, we will work with the courts to minimize the consequences of a conviction. We will strive for you to be sentenced to the minimum punishments available under the law and we will seek out alternatives to prison, like the Quehanna Boot Camp.

To talk with Michael H. Fienman about how we can help, call (215) 839-9529 to schedule your free, confidential consultation.

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