Research shows clear rules can lower recidivism for non-violent drug offenders
Together with officials from the [Pennsylvania] Department of Corrections, [Jordan] Hyatt modified Hawaii’s program to create a system that could lower re-offense rates in Pennsylvania. The State Intermediate Punishment program, based on its Hawaiian counterpart, was dubbed SIP-HOPE and went into effect in 2014, starting with offenders in transitional housing communities who are low-risk, non-violent offenders not fully released but also, not in prison. Hyatt and his colleagues Geoffrey Barnes at Cambridge University and Samuel DeWitt at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, have been working with the Department of Corrections to monitor the progress of the program and they have found the initial results to be quite promising.
“The results of this study show an impressive 13 percent reduction in re-arrests among SIP-HOPE participants,” said Bret Bucklen, director of research and planning for the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. “Further, SIP-HOPE participants spent fewer days in prison or jail, demonstrating the ability of this approach to not only reduce crime, but also to reduce the use of costly prison beds.”
With the positive results of the program, the Department of Corrections plans to expand it to more community centers across the state.