Awesome Corrections Reform Bill Heading to Corbett

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In keeping with the happy news theme today here on the blog, I want to point out how awesome it is that a major corrections reform bill Senate Bill 100 is on its way to Tom Corbett’s desk. This bill had the support of the ACLU and the Commonwealth Foundation, and included several important reforms that will reduce costs and recividism, while improving law enforcement. It is totally awesome that this was able to pass a Republican legislature without anybody demagoguing it as “soft on crime.”

Here’s the best part of the bill:

Launched in 2004, Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) is an innovative supervision strategy that provides swift, predictable sanctions on substance-abusing probationers.

Research shows the program has reduced probationers’ positive drug tests more than 70 percent and traditional probationers are three times more likely to have probation revoked than HOPE participants, saving taxpayers saving an estimated $4,000 to $8,000 per offender.

Senate Bill 100, which would treat nonviolent offenders with drug and alcohol problems, includes language for counties to establish “HOPE” Courts. This legislation could be improved by providing incentives for counties to establish a “HOPE” program or requiring counties to participate.

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