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Butler -

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Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice





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On the basis of limited empirical evidence, advocates of Project HOPE (Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement) have succeeded in spreading the model to a reported 31 states and 160 locations. A recent randomized control experiment across four sites has revealed negative results: no overall effect on recidivism. In this context, we examine how prominent advocates of Project HOPE have coped with the arrival of this “bad news.” Despite null findings from a “gold standard” evaluation study, advocates continue to express confidence in the HOPE model and to support its further implementation. The risk thus exists that Project HOPE is entering a post-factual world in which diminishing its appeal—let alone its falsification—is not possible. It is the collective responsibility of corrections researchers to warn policy makers that the HOPE model is not a proven intervention and may not be effective in many agencies. It is also our responsibility to create a science of community supervision that can establish more definitively best practices in this area.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Sage in Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice on January 15, 2018, available online:

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