“The HOPE program — Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement — is an experimental probation program that emphasizes the delivery of "swift and certain" punishment when a probationer violates conditions of probation.” Sections of this brief cover; the positive effects of swift and certain sanctions; how HOPE works; why HOPE effectively reduces probation violations; the impact of HOPE on courts and officers of the courts—process evaluation; and additional research is needed. At the one year mark, 61% of probationers are less likely to skip meetings with their probation officers, and 53% are less likely to have their probation revoked.
"Racial and ethnic disparity is pervasive in the American criminal justice system. This is particularly stark for blacks, who despite constituting just 13 percent of the US population, account for 30 percent of adult probationers, 37 percent of jail inmates, 38 percent of prisoners, and 40 percent of parolees. Such disparities have broad consequences, from impacts on the health and functioning of minority communities to perceptions of the legitimacy of the criminal justice system. There are more probationers than parolees, prisoners, and jail inmates combined. Probation practice and outcomes thus affect the lives of more adults than any other criminal justice sanction. Further, probation supervision represents an important fork in the road for justice-involved individuals, with failure on probation setting a path for more severe sanctioning, particularly incarceration. Disparities in probation revocations could then contribute to disparities in incarceration. Yet, few studies examine racial and ethnic disparities at this decision point. This brief discusses Urban’s study examining the degree of disparity in probation revocation outcomes and the drivers of that disparity" (p. 1). Sections include: key findings—revocation rates for Black probationers are the greatest with risk assessment scores and criminal history being major factors in revocation; findings regarding probation stakeholder perceptions of bias in the criminal justice system, higher revocation rates for Black probationers, disparity observed when controlling for nonracial and non-ethical characteristics, and contributors to disparity; discussion and policy implications; and ten policy recommendations such as committing to monitor disparity, investing in cultural competency training (CCT), utilizing alternatives to revocation, and reexamining risk assessments and their impact on decisionmaking.
The Community Corrections Collaborative Network (CCCN) hosted a live webinar event with our federal partners and national and local experts to highlight Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE), a collaborative strategy among the court, probation, prosecutors, defense, law enforcement and community treatment providers to effect positive behavioral changes in probationers. HOPE was first conceived of by Judge Steven S. Alm of the O’ahu First Circuit and began as a pilot program in 2004.
The HOPE strategy targets higher risk/higher needs offenders, utilizing swift, certain, consistent, and proportionate consequences for non-compliance with probation conditions while maintaining a working alliance with the offender by both the probation officer and the judge. Within the framework of the National Institute of Corrections’ eight evidence-based principles for recidivism reduction, HOPE assists offenders in the change process in a caring and supportive environment to help probationers succeed on probation and in life. While seemingly a simple theoretical model, HOPE is hard to do, and requires shared leadership within the criminal justice system.
Research has shown that the HOPE strategy, when done with fidelity, can be highly successful and is inspiring like efforts in thirty-one states across the country. The CCCN believes that individual jurisdictions can adopt the swift and certain philosophy while modifying it to fit the needs and resources available in local communities. Our network is committed to identifying promising and innovative practices and promoting the use of evidence-based practices.
Objectives for the Webinar:
- Showcase the innovative HOPE Program and how it can be replicated stateside;
- Discuss HOPE's innovative programmatic design, implementation and evaluation characteristics including:
- HOPE's collaboration and systems approach (Court/Probation/Law Enforcement/Community Treatment Providers working together for a common goal),
- buy-in from staff/engagement/inclusion/supporting each other,
- matching probationers to the right services instead of one-size fits all,
- succession planning and sustainability build to success,
- and research, randomized control trials, and high level scientific design proving the effectiveness of the program;
- and engage the criminal justice system in a live discussion about the HOPE Program, resources for the field, how to access funding through federal resources, ideas for replication of similar approaches, and how to motivate our leaders to want to do more.
The author describes the experiences of probation and parole agencies from across the country that worked with NIC on developing innovative approaches to probation and parole violations and revocations. The document identifies critical issues emerging from these experiences, and discusses the impact that some of these approaches had on the jurisdiction or agency involved.
"This report compiles—in a convenient format—the results of a yearlong research project on the laws relating to probation revocation in 21 American states. By leafing through the four-page “legal profiles” presented in this volume, readers can easily see how much variation exists in statewide laws of probation and probation revocation, while zeroing in on issues of greatest interest. Whether a reader’s jurisdiction is included in the report’s 21 states or not, the legal profiles contain a wealth of information that will allow for comparison with one’s own system. We think every reader—no matter how experienced in the field—will come across practices or ideas in this study that they never heard of before" (p. 3). Individual state profiles are provided for Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin, and the Model Penal Code (MPC) of 2014. Each profile contains the following information about each state's probation system and revocation process: probation's definition and purpose, probation rate (per 1000,000) and rank (out of 50), forms of probation, term, early termination, supervision, conditions, modification of conditions, extension of probation term, interesting fact, grounds for probation revocation, revocation procedures, grades of offenses, legal standard for revocation, revocation and lesser sanctions, and appeal.
In order to ensure that limited jail and prison beds are maintained for high-risk offenders while lower-risk offenders are placed in more effective and cheaper options, the Louisiana legislature passed a law that limits the incarceration time of first-time probation or parole violators to 90 days. "Louisiana’s 90-day revocation limit has: Reduced the average length of incarceration for first-time technical revocations in Louisiana by 281 days, or 9.2 months; Maintained public safety, with returns to custody for new crimes declining from 7.9 percent to 6.2 percent, a 22 percent decrease; Resulted in a net savings of approximately 2,034 jail and prison beds a year; Saved taxpayers an average of $17.6 million in annual corrections costs" (p. 1)
“When Judge Steven Alm wanted to change the behavior of drug-using probationers, he instituted a program that used strict "swift and certain" principles. A rigorous NIJ-funded evaluation in 2009 proved him right. Probationers in Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program were significantly less likely to fail drug tests or miss probation appointments. They also were sentenced to less time in prison because of probation revocations than were probationers who did not participate in the program. Now, as jurisdictions around the country try to copy Hawaii's HOPE program, one central question arises: Can Hawaii's success be duplicated? To find out, NIJ and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) are replicating and evaluating the HOPE model in four jurisdictions that vary widely in population density and geographic location: Clackamas County, Ore.; Essex County, Mass.; Saline County, Ark.; and Tarrant County, Texas. To see whether the replications work as well as they did in Hawaii, researchers are conducting process and outcome evaluations and cost assessments. NIJ asked Angela Hawken, who evaluated Hawaii's HOPE program, to discuss some of the challenges that jurisdictions might face — as well as several keys to success — when implementing a HOPE-style program.”
This handbook discusses policy responses to probation and parole violations that enhance the effectiveness of supervision while also improving community safety. Chapters include: Critical issues in violations -- an overview; The importance of vision, mission, goals, and core values; Collaboration -- a central ingredient for success; Developing baseline information; Supervision; Developing tools to make the policy work; Increasing available choices to violation response; Outcome-based interventions; Monitoring the impact of the policy; And tangible outcomes.
"This Article examines the reasons why community supervision so often fails and challenges popular assumptions about the role community supervision should play in efforts to reduce overreliance on imprisonment. While probation and post-release supervision serve important purposes in many cases, they are often imposed on the wrong people and executed in ways that predictably lead to revocation" (p. 1015). Six sections make up this article: introduction; history and structures of community supervision—probation and post-release supervision; the dynamics of revocation—conditions of release, methods of supervision, and responses to rule violations; responses to the problem of revocation; the different approach of limiting community supervision—limiting the sanction, limiting release conditions, and limiting terms of supervision; and conclusion.