D-START Program Pilot Project
Deferred Sentencing To Advance Rehabilitation & Treatment
U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

The D-START (Deferred Sentencing To Advance Rehabilitation & Treatment) Program will be a post-guilty plea program in U.S. District Court of the District of Oregon for select individuals that focuses on drug and mental health treatment, access to resources, alternative sanctions, restorative justice, and incentives to effectively address offender behavior, rehabilitation, and the safety of the community.

The twenty-four month D-START pilot project will launch in 2022, and will build on the success of the District Court’s Reentry Court and CAPS program. Individuals selected for D-START will enter a guilty plea under a plea agreement that requires participation in the D-START Program and specifies the benefit to be received if the program is completed successfully: either a dismissal of the federal charges or a sentence that does not include a further term of imprisonment.

Participants in D-START are subject to pretrial supervision. There will be two “tiers” of participants in the program: Tier I will be for defendants who are high risk; Tier II will be for defendants who are low risk, but for whom a federal criminal conviction would cause a substantial hardship. Participants will be required to attend regular meetings with the D-START program team (the defense attorney, representative from the United States Attorney’s office, United States Pretrial Services officer, and the D- START magistrate judge), but the frequency of the meetings will be determined based on the tier of the participant.

All participants will create an individualized success plan as they enter the program, with the goal of providing the appropriate amount of supervision and support based on individual risks and needs. Participants may be required to participate in relevant programs designed by the D-START team to address the causes of the defendant’s criminal conduct. Such programs can include substance abuse and/or mental health treatment, employment or education programs, and restorative justice programs. Program participation may extend for up to two years.

Defendants who fail to successfully complete the program proceed to sentencing before the assigned district judge on the charges to which they entered guilty pleas.

D-START is a collaborative partnership among the United States District Court, United States Pretrial Services Agency, Federal Public Defender’s Office, the United States Attorney’s Office, and various community-based treatment providers and organizations.

D-START Case Trajectory

D-START Case Trajectory

Application Process

To apply, please submit the following application to ORX_dstartapplication@fd.org. This email address is not monitored regularly, so if you have any questions, If you have been formally accepted, please contact Jessica Snyder at 503-326-2123 or jessica_snyder@fd.org.

The D-START committee will review applications on a quarterly basis. In 2022-2023, the D-START committee will review applications on the second Tuesday of October, January, April, and July. To have your application considered, please submit it no later than the last day of the month prior to the application review date. For example, if you would like to have your application considered in October, submit it no later than the last day of September.

D-START application

Accepted Into D-START?

If you have been formally accepted, please contact Jessica Snyder to set up a D-START orientation for you and your client. After you have been formally accepted and have scheduled your orientation, you will need to review and complete the following documents before your D-START entry date:

D-START flowchart

D-START prospectus

D-START success plan

D-START contract

D-START notice