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HOPE II: A Follow-up to Hawaii's HOPE Evaluation

NCJ Number
Angela Hawken; Jonathan Kulick; Kelly Smith; Jie Mei; Yiwen Zhang; Sara Jarman; Travis Yu; Chris Carson; Tifanie Vial
Date Published
May 2016
86 pages
This second major evaluation of Hawai'i's Opportunity Probation With Enforcement (HOPE) was conducted after the program had expanded from 34 participants in 2004 to approximately 2,200 in 2014 and some modifications had been made in the program; it also included a 10-year follow-up of participants in the first evaluation.
The core features of HOPE are regular, random drug testing linked to swift and certain, but modest, sanctions for non-compliance with performance requirements. The initial evaluation, a 12-month followup, credited HOPE with large reductions in drug use, recidivism, and overall incarceration for program participants. The current evaluation found that HOPE probationers performed better than probationers supervised under routine supervision. HOPE participants were less likely to be revoked and returned to prison and were more likely to be free in the community. The reduction in drug-related crimes accounted for most of the difference in recidivism rates for HOPE participants and non-participants. Probationers' perception of risk of punishment for non-compliance was higher than probation officers' estimates. Surveys of probation officers suggest that they support HOPE; however, they reported perceived deviation from how HOPE is being implemented compared with how it is described in policies and procedures. At 10-year followup, the original HOPE pilot group had significantly less criminal involvement (number of charges for new crimes) compared with the original control group. The program modifications that occurred after the initial evaluation were early termination as a reward for continued compliance with program requirements, a non-jail sanction for technical violations without aggravating circumstances for clients with a history of compliance, and other modifications that relaxed the severity of sanctions with mitigating circumstances. 13 figures, 3 tables, and 75 references