HOPE Demonstration Field Experiment and SCF Evaluations
The preliminary findings of the HOPE Demonstration Field Experiment were published in a 2016 journal issue with results of SCF evaluations in Washington State (Swift and Certain) and Delaware (Decide Your Time) and comments on all the studies. The final HOPE DFE report was issued in 2018. An economic analysis and two comments were published in a 2018 journal issue.
The HOPE DFE findings are being widely reported on, with implications for SCF implementations. The SCF Resource Center emphasizes that each study should be understood in the context of the particular implementation design and local circumstances. The Center works with SCF practitioners to make community corrections swifter, more certain, and more fair, in their jurisdictions and agencies, based on their circumstances. For a complete guide to SCF research and analysis, see scfcenter.org/bja/annotated-
Evaluation of the Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Demonstration Field Experiment (HOPE DFE), Final Report
Pamela K. Lattimore, Debbie Dawes, Doris Layton MacKenzie and Gary Zajac
Criminology and Public Policy (2018)
Elizabeth K. Drake
Alexander J. Cowell, Alan Barnosky, Pamela K. Lattimore, Joel K. Cartwright and Matthew DeMichele
Daniel S. Nagin
Zachary Hamilton, Christopher M. Campbell, Jacqueline van Wormer, Alex Kigerl and Brianne Posey
Daniel J. O’Connell, John J. Brent and Christy A. Visher
Pamela K. Lattimore, Doris Layton MacKenzie, Gary Zajac, Debbie Dawes, Elaine Arsenault and Stephen Tueller
Philip J. Cook
J. C. Oleson
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Steven S. Alm
Francis T. Cullen, Travis C. Pratt and Jillian J. Turanovic
Two of the most widely lauded programs by criminal justice experts and policymakers for their alleged ability to reduce recidivism have received skeptical assessments.
A [study] in Criminology & Public Policy concludes that neither [sic] Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (Hawaii HOPE) program, and the Swift, Certain and Fair (SCF) model of supervision were not associated with significant reductions in arrests, compared to standard probation programs.
In the study, “Outcome Findings from the HOPE Demonstration Field Experiment,” the authors randomly assigned more than 1,500 probationers to normal probation supervision or to a program modeled on HOPE, called the Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement, that emphasizes close monitoring, frequent drug testing, and swift and certain punishment for probation violations. They found no real difference in outcomes.
Based on their experiment, the authors conclude that HOPE/SCF “seems unlikely to offer better outcomes and lower costs for broad classes of moderate-to-high-risk probationers.”[N.b. This brief account confuses HOPE and SCF, and what was implemented and evaluated. Another brief account has the lead author concluding: “The study does suggest that supervision practices that enforce strict compliance with the conditions of supervision can be successfully implemented, holding probationers accountable for their actions…. Additional work is needed to determine if the HOPE model is effective for specific types of probationers or if it can be modified to produce favorable recidivism outcomes and reduce overall probation costs.” See discussion.]