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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 22, 2013

Smart Justice: A New Paradigm for Dealing with Offenders

  • Kevin Sabet EMAIL logo , Stephen Talpins , Matthew Dunagan and Erin Holmes


Given the size and cost of the American criminal justice system, new ways of thinking about community corrections are necessary to both reduce the economic impact and public safety consequences of offenders cycling in and out of prison and jail. Several new paradigms for dealing with offenders have recently emerged and are expanding throughout the United States. All of these approaches involve utilizing swift, certain, and modest sanctions, rather than random and severe sanctions, which is the status quo. This paper outlines the aforementioned approach by highlighting three such programs currently in existence in the United States. The paper ends with general guidelines for constructing similar cost-effective programs.


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    We do not know how many HOPE probationers were clinically assessed as having serious drug problems. The 2009 NIJ study had HOPE probationers with a baseline LSI score of 27.8 and the control group having a baseline LSI score of 26.8. The percentage of HOPE probation assessed as high risk was 46.7% and the control group was at 44.1%. Also, HOPE probationers were interviewed in the 2009 NIJ study and asked about their perceptions of the program. Four groups were interviewed (probationers in treatment, probationers in jail, probationers in the Integrated Community Sanctions Unit, and probationers in the Adult Client Services branch). All four groups had a positive perception of the HOPE Probation program.

Published Online: 2013-08-22

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin / Boston

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