SWIFT: Supervision With Intensive Enforcement, Ft. Worth, Texas.

In 2004, Leighton Iles, a probation chief in Fort Bend, Texas, also implemented a probation model with the core features of SCF supervision. He was seeking a program with the positive outcomes of a Drug Court but also the ability to apply to scale to a wider group of offenders. The program started with the name Special Sanctions Court but would become know as SWIFT (Supervision With Intensive enForcemenT) when Iles and the program would come to Tarrant County (Fort Worth, TX). SWIFT implemented a progressive sanction program that would respond immediately to violations and use swift, certain, and fair action to systematically deter bad conduct and reward good conduct. The goal was successful completion of probation and decreased reliance on incarceration in a state where the number of technical probation violators sent to prison had doubled from 1994–2003.

SWIFT is similar in philosophy and many practices to HOPE: warning hearings, collaboration between the various parts of the local criminal justice system, SCF sanctions to increase compliance and reduce revocations. However, there are differences: SWIFT involves greater transparency at the outset, providing the full details on the sanctioning regime upon entering the program. Second, the governing regime is more elaborate: it includes a progressive sanction structure that starts with smaller penalties (additional probation appointments or community service hours), and also includes a positive incentive scheme to help change behavior. Finally, the drug testing protocol includes hair assays, and charges the probationer for the cost of the random drug testing.

When contrasted with a matched group, SWIFT probationers had twenty-five percent fewer probation violations and were only half as likely to be convicted for new crimes or revoked. With the requirement of payment for drug testing, the most common probation violation was a failure to pay court fees.

After his successes in Fort Bend, Iles moved to Tarrant County. There, he teamed up with Judge Mollee Westfall and secured a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to implement another SWIFT court that started in 2012.

Manager: Mark Tittle | (817)884-3280 | metittle@tarrantcounty.com

Program Administrator:  Judge Mollee Westfall

Judge Mollee Westfall

Judge Mollee Westfall

When Judge Mollee Westfall took office in 2007 in the 371st District Court she became the youngest of the county’s nine felony court judges and the fourth woman ever elected as a county criminal district court judge. Previously she practiced in the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, including the Crimes Against Children Unit, prosecuting defendants accused of abusing children. She’s tried more than 70 felony jury trials to verdict, ranging from theft to capital murder. In 2012 she led the team that secured a $728,364 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to implement SWIFT in Tarrant County.