Replicating HOPE: Can others do it as well as Hawaii? (The Corrections Connection Network News [CCNN])
By BETH PEARSALL, The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) | July 28, 2014
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. Hawken is associate professor of economics and policy analysis at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy.
NIJ: How did the original HOPE program work, and what were the results?