Hawaii Probation Program Works, So Why Is It Not Duplicated?


Governing.com profiles a promising probation program created by Steven Alm, a circuit judge in Hawaii, that features a kind of correctional time-out–brief but immediate punishment. Anybody found violating any term of his probation is sent to jail for a few days. Created five years ago, the Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement progray says it has achieved extraordinary results: an 80 percent reduction in missed appointments, an 86 percent reduction in the incidence of drug use and a 50 percent reduction in recidivism.

In a new book, UCLA policy analyst Mark Kleiman argues that HOPE combined with a strategy of “focused deterrence” could reduce the nation's crime rate and prison population by 50 percent in 10 years. Lurking behind the praise is a puzzling question: If a dramatic new approach to crime reduction has been found, why aren't other places using it?

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