The Hawaii Judiciary’s Project HOPE has won national praise for successfully controlling new criminal behavior by probationers, but there have been several tragic failures since it began, says the Honolulu Advertiser. Probationer Aaron Susa was charged with murdering New Mexico tourist Bryanna Antone Oct. 2, less than a day after he completed his latest stay in prison for violating the rules of Project HOPE.
Hawaii’s Opportunity for Probation with Enforcement is aimed at reducing criminal behavior by close supervision of probationers and promises of immediate arrest and incarceration for program violations. The recent murders of two young women allegedly committed by HOPE probationers has focused new attention on the HOPE program. Judge Steven Alm, who created HOPE, said the program deals with “high risk” probationers who are most at risk for re-offending. Alm said preliminary results of a scientific study of HOPE and non-HOPE probationers showed that those in the HOPE group were arrested “less than half as often as those in the control group.” Final results of the study, conducted by Pepperdine University professor Angela Hawken, will be out soon.