Faced with skyrocketing corrections costs, Hawaii policymakers are now considering important sentencing reforms to streamline the state budget for jails and prisons.
The Council on State Governments Justice Center worked with the Governor, legislators and state judges to research the state’s criminal justice system and issue a report which details the various ways to make the system more effective and cost-efficient.
The report pointed to the success of the “Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement,” (HOPE) model, which successfully uses “swift-and-sure” responses to probation violations. It also highlighted the major need for flexibility in drug offender sentencing, an increase in felony theft thresholds, and parole reform.
Sentencing reform in Hawaii is predicted to save the state millions in the first year alone, with increased savings as the system’s reforms affect more offenders in the years to come.