SCF Probation as a HOPE-Like Model: Progress toward Goals and Lingering Challenges
The Swift and Certain (SAC) Probation Program in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana is a HOPE-like program that provides intensive supervision to high-risk probationers. The current study describes the first 2 years of the program. We examine progress toward five of the seven program goals, including reduction of substance use, reduction in prison overcrowding, increase in effective resource use, reduction in new crimes, and increase in personal and societal responsibility. We find that the program appears to meet these five goals and we contextualize these findings with a description of participants’ experience in the program that includes results of a perceptions survey. However, progress on the other two goals has remained more elusive and we discuss the challenges for the program in meeting these and conclude with implications for both research and practice.
Therapeutic Jurisprudence in SCF Probation
While the manifestation of therapeutic jurisprudence in specialty courts such as mental health and drug courts has received attention in the literature, there is little scholarship on the manifestation and function of therapeutic jurisprudence in probation settings. This study examines therapeutic jurisprudence in the context of a HOPE-based probation program called Swift and Certain probation. We observed status hearings and surveyed participants on their perceptions of the program for over 2 years. We found that therapeutic jurisprudence was manifested in the judge’s liberal use of praise during status hearings, which appeared to be an important part of participants’ positive perceptions of him and of procedural justice more generally. It was also manifested, though less directly, in interactions and relationships participants have with their probation officers. We conclude with suggestions for the implementation of therapeutic justice practices in Swift and Certain and similar probation programs.