Do Criminal Laws Deter Crime? Deterrence Theory in Criminal Justice Policy: A Primer
Intensive Probation with Immediate Consequences Shows Some Promise
Hawaii’s pilot project within its probation system provided an opportunity to examine the effect of certainty and celerity. The program, known as Honest [sic] Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE), attempted to identify probation violations quickly and then provide an immediate consequence for the violation. The consequences involve jail time, but are limited to a few days. The program produced excellent results in a short-term study. A study that looked at the long-term effects still showed positive results, but the difference between probationers in the HOPE program and those in traditional probation was not as significant. However, several jurisdictions received grants to replicate the program. Early results in those jurisdictions show very little difference between participants in the new program and those in traditional probation.
Short Sentences May Prevent Reoffending, Long Sentences May Not
People respond to sanctions. Most people convicted of a DWI do not reoffend. Probation models, like Hawaii’s HOPE model and drug courts, have shown promising results from a system that uses limited consequences, such as a few days in jail, for violations. However, individuals who spend longer periods of time in prison are more likely to reoffend than those that serve sentences of about a year.