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Honest Opportunity Probation Enforcement (HOPE) DFE

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance selected Clackamas County as one of four jurisdictions to conduct The Honest Opportunity Probation with Enforcement Demonstration Field Experiment (HOPE DFE). The District Attorney, Circuit Court, Sheriff, and defense bar are cooperating in this project.

As stated in the HOPE FY 2011 Competitive Grant Announcement, “This Demonstration Field Experiment (DFE) combines a demonstration of the Hawaii HOPE model with a rigorous experimental evaluation in an applied setting and will consist of a randomized controlled trial. The HOPE DFE is intended to: (a) improve supervision strategies that will reduce recidivism; (b) promote and increase collaboration among agencies and officials who work in probation and related fields; and (c) develop and implement strategies to improve the outcomes of ‘high-risk’ probationers that can be used throughout the nation.”

The Clackamas County HOPE DFE adheres to the Hawaii HOPE model described in the Grant Announcement:

Probationers are given clear instructions on the content and implications of the close monitoring under HOPE. The judge clearly articulates and applies sanctions in a manner that is certain, swift, and consistent for every infraction. Offenders who violate the terms of probation are immediately arrested and are brought before a judge. Every positive drug test and every missed probation appointment is met with a sanction.

The HOPE process contrasts sharply not only with routine probation supervision but with the two other major approaches to managing drug-involved offenders in the community: diversion programs and drug treatment courts. Diversion and drug courts are alike in starting with a formal clinical assessment of the client’s need for drug treatment and the preparation of a corresponding treatment plan. The offender is then mandated to follow that plan.

In contrast, the HOPE approach is focused directly on reducing drug use and missed appointments rather than on drug treatment. That is, the focus is on outcome rather than on process. Additionally, HOPE can be an option for offenders who may not qualify for drug courts (i.e., offenders with a history of violent crime). This DFE seeks to rigorously test the Hawaii HOPE model to determine if it can contribute to a reduction of drug use, missed appointments, and re-offending for high-risk1  probationers in several jurisdictions across the United States. (p.4)

The first Clackamas County HOPE warning hearing was conducted by Judge Steele on August 13, 2012 and weekly hearings are conducted every Monday at 11:00 AM in the Clackamas County Circuit Court.

For more information, see http://www.nij.gov/journals/269/pages/hope.aspx.

1 High-risk for failing probation through drug use, missed appointments, and/or re-offending

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