First Circuit Court Judge Steven Alm was honored by the National Criminal Justice Association with its Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award for the Western Region. Pictured above: Julie Ebato, Administrator, Hawaii Department of the Attorney General, Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division (left), Judge Steven Alm (center), and Karhlton Moore, NCJA’s Vice President and Executive Director of the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services (right).
HONOLULU - The National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA) honored Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) with its Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award for the Western Region. At an awards ceremony in Breckenridge, Colorado, First Circuit Court Judge Steven Alm was recognized for the successful probation model that reduces probation violations and recidivism. The award is given out annually at the National Forum on Criminal Justice.
HOPE aims to help offenders meet probation requirements by combining supportive supervision with the threat of immediate sanctions for non-compliance. A judge or probation officer may recommend offenders for HOPE, and participants are subject to frequent random drug tests and probation appointments. Consequences of violations include immediate arrest or bench warrant.
“Judge Steven Alm is very deserving of the Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Award for the HOPE program,” said Julie Ebato, administrator in the Hawaii Office of the Attorney General Division of Crime Prevention Justice Assistance. “We also want to take this time to acknowledge Judge Alm as an outstanding and effective leader, collaborator, and agent-of-change. HOPE is just one of several efforts Judge Alm has spearheaded to improve public safety, increase offender accountability, and support needed victim services.”
The program has succeeded in reducing probation violations, according to a 2008 evaluation of the program: probationers participating in the program were 55 percent less likely to be arrested for a new crime, 53 percent less likely to have their probation provoked, 72 percent less likely to use drugs and 61 percent less likely to skip appointments with their supervisory officer. Since its inception in 2004, the HOPE model has been replicated in 160 locations in 18 states.
The NCJA Outstanding Criminal Justice Program Awards are given out annually to five criminal justice programs as a way to seek out and share successful criminal justice programs that merit recognition for providing effective services to address crime-related issues in their communities. For more information on NCJA or to learn more about the Outstanding Criminal Justice Program awards, please visit http://www.ncja.org.