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Criminal Justice in Oregon: Enhanced Probation Probation


Re: Oregon 2009 HB 3264

Oregon looks at tougher probation for lesser crimes, by Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian, Sunday May 03, 2009:

Excerpts: ‘Gov. Ted Kulongoski wants to use $13.5 million of Oregon’s federal stimulus dollars to create an enhanced probation program for repeat property and drug offenders who might otherwise face prison under Measure 57.

The program would be modeled after the nationally recognized HOPE program in Hawaii, in which high-risk offenders go before a judge for every probation violation and are sanctioned to short jail stays to try to keep them on track.

Hawaii Judge Steven S. Alm created the program 4 1/2 years ago after he was repeatedly asked to revoke offenders’ probation for failing numerous drug tests, missing probation appointments, or refusing or failing to attend treatment. Typically, he said, a probation officer would recommend the offender be sentenced to several years in prison.

“I thought, ‘This is crazy. This is not any way to change behavior,'” Alm said, testifying recently before a joint session of the Oregon House and Senate Judiciary committees….

Oregon’s Criminal Justice Commission, which advises the governor, recommended that Oregon adopt a similar model. Craig Prins, the commission’s executive director, says the goal is to offer high-risk property offenders a “last chance to succeed” in the community while allowing the state to preserve prison beds for violent offenders….

Crime Victims United lobbied for a HOPE-type program before the governor’s plan was drafted. The group is pushing House Bill 3264, which would establish a pilot program in Multnomah, Marion or Lane county.

“If we had this kind of program in Oregon going back five or six years, there’s a chance we might not have had Measure 57 at all,” said Howard Rodstein of Crime Victims United. “We might have had a criminal justice system that had more credibility with offenders and the general public.” …’ (link to full article)

Read Oregon 2009 HB 3264, PDF or HTML.

More about the Oregon hearing, including testimony transcripts, Oregon’s HOPE Program Hearing, April 10, 2009, from Crime Victims United. And, more about the Hawaii HOPE program and a Pew Center 2008 research study of the program.

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