Probation is not always taken seriously and some recalcitrant offenders violate their orders knowing there will be no immediate consequences and likely delays to prosecution. To address this problem, the Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program was introduced as a result of a Judge’s frustration with conventional probation. Operating since 2004, the HOPE program is a court-based probation-violation deterrence program for illegal drug users and other high-risk offenders (National Institute of Justice, 2012). It is aimed at reducing reoffending by imposing ‘non-severe graduated sanctions’ on probation violators (Duriez, Cullen, & Manchak, 2014, p. 57). During ‘warning hearings’, probationers are advised of the expectations and conditions of probation (i.e., intense monitoring and random drug testing), and the immediate, proportionate consequences (e.g., short stays in prison) for violations, including repeat violators serving their entire original prison sentence (National Institute of Justice, 2012 ). Consistent with classical criminology, HOPE advocates that effective punishment should be certain and swift. Its appeal is that probationers are held accountable for their decision-making around compliance through ‘tough love’ (Duriez et al., 2014, p. 61). In theory then, the program will have a deterrent effect through the acute threat of punishment, while offering probationers opportunities for change.
[relates HOPE evaluations]
Evaluations of other ‘HOPE-style’ programs in the United States have shown mixed results, with some showing similar positive outcomes to the Hawaiian program (Hawken, 2016).