Panel: Assessing “Swift, Certain, Fair” As an Approach to Offender Supervision
(Crime, Justice, and Drugs)

Friday, November 9, 2018: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Wilson B - Mezz Level (Marriott Wardman Park)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Panel Chairs:  Peter Reuter, University of Maryland
Discussants:  Harold Pollack, University of Chicago Urban Labs

Parole and probation supervision have a well deserved reputation for performing poorly, both in terms of protecting community safety and in terms of efficiently helping keep offenders from committing new offenses.  An effort to implement a new approach, with an emphasis on close supervision of drug use and the rapid imposition of moderate penalties initially produced extremely promising findings when applied to a large sample of criminal offenders in Hawaii (Hawken and Kleiman, 2010).   In a relatively large scale experiment, those assigned to this new regime (Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement) showed much lower re-arrest rates and lower drug use as compared to controls receiving normal probation supervision.  Another program based on the same behavioral model, 24/7, has been used to supervise those on probation for DUI in South Dakota.  The 24/7 has also shown substantial success in reducing recidivism rates and saving funds on corrections. The general term for these programs is Swift, Certain, Fair


The HOPE results have attracted both political and research interest.  The Department of Justice has funded a number of replications that have produced mixed results.  A session on this topic at the 2016 APPAM conference attracted a great deal of attention.  In the last two years there has been still more research.  This session is an opportunity to review some of the new findings and to include the most recent 24/7 findings.  There are four papers:

  • A new analysis of the effects of 24/7 on reoffending both not just for DUI but for any criminal offense. This uses individual data on 20,000 persons subject to the 24/7 regime and follows them for three years.
  • The results of an RCT of SCF conducted in Pennsylvania with probationers already under a treatment intensive regime.
  • The findings of a series of DoJ-funded replications in four states of SCF principles in a variety of settings.
  • A review of the entire set of experiments that have incorporated SCF principles.

The discussant is a well known drug policy expert.

See more of: Crime, Justice, and Drugs
See more of: Panel