What is Forensic Intensive Recovery?

It is a really tough time to be a prisoner in America. Incarceration isn't intended to be a walk in the park, of course. But a concoction of factors like a rapid inflow of inmates, rigid sentencing guidelines, and a monolithic approach to correction has made today's prison experience especially grim. This state of the prison system has inspired state lawmakers to focus on what they want their respective institution to accomplish. 

Over the course of the past decade, Pennsylvania has made it clear that rehabilitation is an effective method of slashing the crime rate and reducing recidivism through the emergence of a number of programs; most of which are apart of Forensic Intensive Recovery (FIR). In this article, we'll explore what FIR entails, eligibility, and why you need an attorney for placement.

What is Forensic Intensive Recovery?

In 1991, the federal government sent a decree that ordered the City of Philadelphia to reduce its inmate population. The Forensic Intensive Recovery (FIR) program was implemented in response to this decree. Originally, eligible inmates received substance abuse treatment and other support services while being in the system through early parole and re-parole. But now, FIR offers eligible participants substance abuse treatment as an alternative to incarceration. Participants of this program are referred through the Defender Association of Philadelphia. 

FIR Programs include DUI treatment court, domestic violence intervention court, juvenile treatment court, intermediate punishment and parole, Philadelphia treatment court, community court, youth violence reduction partnership, family court.


The Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC) is responsible for evaluating eligible criminal offenders for FIR. Clients are eligible for FIR consideration in the following circumstances:

  • There is an indication of substance use/abuse prior to incarceration
  • Client is serving a Philadelphia County Sentence and is re-entry eligible
  • Client is released on probation or parole with a court order for a FIR evaluation
  • Client appears for a violation of probation hearing and DIR evaluation is ordered in lieu of incarceration or a condition of release from incarceration
  • Client appears for sentencing after a conviction and a FIR evaluation is ordered as a condition of probation or parole

Once eligibility is determined, the PMHC will gauge each participant's chemical dependency and refer them to intensive outpatient and regular outpatient treatment services. 

Why You Need an Attorney 

There are only a few ways one can be considered for any FIR program. One of the most effective ways is with the help of an attorney. A legal professional can request a FIR evaluation on your behalf. 

Contact the Lento Law Firm Today

If you've been arrested and charged with a crime in Philadelphia, you may be eligible for placement in FIR. The Lento Law Firm can help you avoid incarceration and the creation of a criminal record. For more information about your eligibility, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento online or by phone at (215) 535-5355.

Contact Us Today!

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience successfully resolving clients' criminal charges in Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania counties. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you or a loved one, contact the Lento Law Firm today! Criminal defense attorney Joseph D. Lento will go above and beyond the needs of any client, and will fight until the final bell rings.

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