Five criminal justice programs won this year’s awards from the National Criminal Justice Association, which represents state and local justice agencies. The honors were announced this week at the group’s annual meeting, held in Breckenridge, Co. The Western region award went to Hawaii's Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE), which aims to cut probation violations “by combining appropriate, supportive supervision with the threat of immediate sanctions for non-compliance.” A 2008 evaluation found that after one year, participants were 55 percent less likely to be arrested for a new crime, 72 percent less likely to use drugs, 61 percent less likely to skip appointments probation officers, and 53 percent less likely to have their probation revoked. Winning in Northeast was the Pennsylvania Resource Center for Evidence-Based Programs and Practices, which provides localities “free, high-quality training and technical assistance” for 11 proven-effective evidence-based programs to combat youth violence.
The Southern award went to the Johnson City, Tn., Targeted Community Crime Reduction Project, which has sponsored 19 programs to prevent crime, rebuild neighborhoods, improve law enforcement, and provide intervention for probationers and parolees. The award for the Midwestern region was given to the Secure Cities Partnership, created by the Michigan State Police after a 2012 call by Gov. Rick Snyder for an attack on crime through “smart justice” using real-time crime data and evidence-based policing tactics to target crime hot spots. Crime dropped in Flint, Saginaw, Pontiac and Detroit in the year after the program began. Winning the award for tribal nations was the Muscogee Creek Nation Reintegration Program, which uses “proven effective initiatives while embracing traditional Native American cultural values, making it a unique program for reentry into society.” It says it successfully re-integrated 90 percent of 500 offenders in the last decade.