How Defund the Police backfired
But there is strong quantitative evidence that probationary programs that are “swift, certain, and fair” reduce arrests, recidivism, and drug use. The most famous of these programmes is Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE). It incentivised offenders to follow probation rules by applying guaranteed, immediate, and short jail time for parole violations like failing a drug test. One study found that HOPE reduced drug use by 72%, future arrests by 55%, and incarceration by 48%.
A researcher [N.b. Mark Kleiman slate.com/technology/2013/06/hawaii-hope-probation-program-reduces-crime-drug-use-and-time-in-prison.html] summarised the benefits of the program, saying, “HOPE actually gets people to change their behaviour by setting up a circumstance where their natural behaviour moves in the right direction. They don’t want to be arrested and go to jail, so they stop using. That’s a profoundly rehabilitative thing to do.” In other words, HOPE rewards addicts and criminals for behaving well, instead of simply expecting them to.