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SAIL Program

In 2015, the Eastern District of Missouri implemented the Sentencing Alternatives Improving Lives (SAIL) program, which is a post-plea, pre-sentence diversion program. The SAIL program is a collaborative effort between the court, the Pretrial Services Office, the United States Attorney’s Office and the Federal Public Defender’s Office. The program aims to divert defendants who are otherwise likely to serve prison sentences from serving any time in prison. SAIL has two tracks, and program participation lasts for 12 to 18 months. Upon successful completion, Track One defendants have their charges dismissed; Track Two defendants receive probation or supervised release. Participation is not limited to defendants with particular offenses, issues, or criminal histories, although some offenses categories, such as immigration and sex offenses, are excluded. Participants are subject to intensive supervision that includes regular court appearances before the SAIL team and participation in programs and services designed to address the root causes of the defendant’s criminal conduct such as substance abuse and mental health treatment; education assistance; job training assistance; appropriate clothing for employment; housing, transportation, and veterans’ benefits assistance; computers, and groceries.