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Replicating HOPE: Can Others Do It As Well As Hawaii?

NCJ Number
National Institute of Justice Journal Issue: 273 Dated: March 2014 Pages: 36-41
Date Published
March 2014
6 pages
Publication Series
This article is the transcript of the author's interview with Angela Hawken, who evaluated Hawaii's HOPE program, with attention to her views regarding the challenges and probabilities of a successful implementation of HOPE in other jurisdictions.
The HOPE (Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement) program uses strict "swift and certain" principles. A rigorous NIJ-funded evaluation in 2009 found the probationers in HOPE were significantly less likely to fail drug tests or miss probation appointments compared to probationers who did not participate in HOPE. They were also sentenced to less time in prison due to probation revocations than were probationers who did not participate in the program. Ms. Hawken noted five practices that make HOPE effective. First, all key personnel in HOPE - judges, probation department overseeing the HOPE caseload, local law enforcement partners, jails, prosecutors, public defenders, and treatment providers - are committed to making HOPE work. Second, the program's atmosphere is energetic and committed to the success of each probationer. Third, regular interaction with all criminal justice personnel involved in a case ensures monitoring and the identification of individual probationer needs. Fourth, a readiness to change course in the interest of improving effectiveness is the key to improvement. Fifth, HOPE personnel are committed to swift, certain, and proportionate sanctions when a probationer fails to meet expectations. Ms. Hawken believes these five key features of the HOPE program can be replicated not only for probationers who are drug offenders, but also with other types of offenders, including felony sex offenders and felony domestic violence offenders. 1 note

Date Published: March 1, 2014