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The Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Project: A Potentially Worthwhile Correctional Reform

“Probation is a long-standing feature of the criminal justice system and is found in every state. Unfortunately, however, probation has not been as successful as its original proponents hoped that it would be: Approximately one-third of offenders placed on probation wind up in prison or abscond. In 2004, a Hawaii state court judge developed a new way of managing probationers that has shown the promise of reforming offenders and reducing costs borne by the criminal justice system and the public. That project-known as Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement, or HOPE-uses a fundamentally different approach to traditional probation supervision. The federal and state governments should look to this program as a potentially valuable criminal justice reform” (p. 1). HOPE uses a swift and certain consequence for a violation of a probationer’s conditions for release. This has been shown to promote a greater degree of deterrence in the offender. Sections that follow an abstract are: key points; traditional probation; the HOPE project; areas for reform; and conclusion.