Reduce Incarceration and Crime

Drug abuse is endemic in the criminal justice system, making the drug-free state an important but elusive goal. Systematic application of the drug-free standard to all those released to the community under the supervision of the criminal justice system continues to be a daunting challenge.

The Institute for Behavior and Health has been a strong advocate for innovative criminal justice initiatives that reduce drug use, reduce recidivism, and reduce incarceration.  

HOPE Probation

In 2004 First Circuit Court Judge Steven S. Alm and Probation Section Administrator Cheryl Inouye and her probation officers implemented the HOPE strategy in Honolulu.  Known then as Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement, over the last decade the HOPE strategy has been recognized nationally as an innovative criminal justice innovation that reduces drug use, incarceration and recidivism.  HOPE is a strategy to effect positive behavioral change for those under court supervision.  Focused on higher-risk offenders, jurisdictions in numerous states across the country have implemented the HOPE strategy in pretrial, probation, parole, and even prison settings.  

HOPE provides swift, certain, consistent, and proportionate consequences for misbehavior in an environment of caring support. That translates into a system that is seen as fair, both in perception and in reality, and that increases buy-in for those under supervision. HOPE is not meant to be a substitute for any other supervisory strategy (e.g., evidence-based principles for recidivism reduction) but rather complements those efforts and makes them work more effectively. HOPE markedly reduces drug use and increases compliance with the other conditions of community release.  

The Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc. teamed with Judge Alm and Ms. Inouye to develop a comprehensive description of the HOPE strategy through a grant provided by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.  The resulting State of the Art of HOPE Probation serves as a tool for criminal justice practitioners interested in implementing the HOPE strategy.  

State of the Art of HOPE Probation defines the essential elements of the HOPE strategy and additional recommended, but not essential, elements that enhance HOPE and ensure its success. It describes appropriate sanctions used for non-compliance, the circumstances under which offenders are referred to treatment and to drug court, and when probation is revoked. Additionally, it describes in detail how HOPE Probation has evolved over 10 years of innovation and practice in Honolulu. Useful tools for practitioners interested in implementing the HOPE strategy in their jurisdictions include a needs assessment worksheet that corresponds to the Essential Elements and Recommended Elements of HOPE as well as a HOPE procedures checklist outlining specific issues that require strategic planning to successfully implement HOPE. Lastly, it includes open letters to judges, probation officers, law enforcement and treatment professionals from these respective leaders in Honolulu about their roles in successfully implementing the HOPE strategy.  

HOPE-Like Probation and Parole: 2015 Survey Summary describes findings from an online survey of practitioners (i.e., judges, probation/parole officers, and coordinators) representing strategies that are similar to or directly based on HOPE Probation.   

The HOPE Probation Strategy and Fidelity to It: A Summary is a final project summary report from the Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc.  It reviews the core components of the HOPE strategy, the findings of survey research conducted on HOPE-like sites and provides recommendations for further actions, including future extensions of HOPE. This report is intended to provide only a cursory review of the HOPE strategy; for an in-depth description, readers are referred to The State of the Art of HOPE Probation.

Widespread application of the HOPE model holds the promise of significantly reducing both the demand for illegal drugs and associated criminal activity and prison populations across the US.

24/7 Sobriety

The 24/7 Sobriety Project of South Dakota is another successful program that like HOPE Probation, is part of what IBH has termed the New Paradigm.  24/7 Sobriety focuses specifically on repeat driving under the influence (DUI) offenders.  Offenders are subject to twice-daily alcohol breath tests or continuous alcohol monitoring bracelets, and random urine drug tests or sweat patches to monitor alcohol and drug use. Any use is met with an immediate short-term jail stay.  A study of 24/7 Sobriety conducted by RAND showed that both repeat DUI and domestic violence arrests declined at the county level in South Dakota.

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