In What Works (and Doesn’t) in Reducing Recidivism
This chapter highlights the need to use empirically and theoretically supported approaches to correctional programming. We do not mean to suggest that innovation in correctional programming is bad. Indeed, it is often necessary to move the field forward. However, it is also important that innovations be carefully tested to ensure they achieve the expected outcomes. For instance, the State of Hawaii created and tested the Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program, a deterrence-based approach to probation. In contrast to traditional probation, a deterrence- based probation approach reconceptualizes sanctions under deterrence as “swift, certain, and fair” (versus swift, certain, and severe). Frequent drug tests and graduated sanctions in response to violations are used to promote compliance. Initial results were promising (Hawken & Kleiman, 2009), and the program was quickly replicated across the country (Pearsall, 2014). More recent studies using experimental approaches, however, failed to find clear evidence that the HOPE model changes behavior and reduces recidivism (Lattimore, MacKenzie, Zajac, Dawes, Arsenault, & Tueller, 2016; O’Connell, Brent, & Visher, 2016). Additional research will be needed to determine whether this approach should continue to be embraced. However, without effective treatment as a component of the model, it is difficult to imagine it will have much long-term impact on high-risk probationers.