Swift and certain sanctions: Is it time for Australia to bring some HOPE into the criminal justice system?


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This article examines the Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) Program, first piloted in Hawaii in 2004, to determine whether it would be suitable for adoption in the Australian context. The article commences with an overview of the origins and operation of the HOPE program. It then considers the findings of outcome evaluations of the program, which demonstrated greater reductions in drug use and reoffending and fewer days in prison compared with the control group. The findings of a process evaluation, including the perspectives of probation officers, judicial officers, court staff and offenders, are also discussed. Other programs in the United States which also deliver swift and certain sanctions are considered. The article then examines current and future projects and research. The article acknowledges some of the concerns with programs of this nature, but concludes by calling for Australia to adopt an appropriately funded and evaluated pilot project based on the HOPE model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-66
Number of pages14
JournalCriminal Law Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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