Book review: Swift, Certain and Fair: Does Project HOPE Provide a Therapeutic Paradigm for Managing Offenders?
Dr. Bartels covers well the criticisms that have been levelled at HOPE-like programs, and, while she steers clear of being a rose-coloured-glasses-wearing apologist for them, she does respond to the nay-sayers. She is on solid ground: one can hardly champion a status quo which has so many systematic failures. She is right to point out that judicial decision-making, coming at the end of justice processing, is unlikely to make too much difference to what has happened in probationers’ lives that led to their being the subject of probation in the first place. Nevertheless, she posits the view that any option that reduces probationers’ exposure to the system is better than the one that operates now; one that continually fails vast numbers of offenders on a regular basis.