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In Brief: Hawaii Hope

NCJ Number
Date Published
Philip Bulman
Publication Series
This article reports on the features and effectiveness of Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation With Enforcement (HOPE) program, which uses a “swift and sure punishment” approach to discourage probation violations.
Two evaluations of the HOPE program have found that participating probationers were significantly less likely to fail drug tests or miss probation appointments. They were also sentenced to less time in prison because of probation revocations compared to probationers who did not participate in the HOPE program. Under the HOPE program, judges give probationers “warning hearings” to inform them that probation conditions will be strictly enforced. Frequent, unannounced drug testing is part of the program. Participants must call a hotline each weekday morning to learn whether they will be drug-tested that day. Participants who fail a morning drug test are arrested immediately and may be in court within a few hours. The judge will change the terms of their probation to include a short stay in jail. Employed probationers are often allowed to serve their jail time on weekends, at least initially, so as to encourage continued employment. The court also assures probationers who need drug treatment or mental health counseling that they will receive the treatment they need. They are expected to attend and complete such programs. Initial participants in the HOPE program included offenders considered by probation officers to be high-risk probationers. 2 figures
Date Created: June 24, 2010