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Roundtable focuses on probation reform

Published 8:29am Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, and Hawaiin Judge Steven S. Alm will host a roundtable discussion on probation reforms proven to reduce prison costs Wednesday in Lansing.

Proos is sponsor of Michigan’s Swift and Sure Sanctions Probation Program, while Alm is the creator of Hawaii’s Honest Opportunity with Probation Enforcement (HOPE) program.

The roundtable will take place from 9:30 to 10 a.m. in the Dykema Constitution Room in the Capitol View Building, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing.

Proos and Alm will discuss the results of the HOPE program in Hawaii and the benefit and cost savings Michigan could realize if the similar Swift and Sure program were to be expanded statewide.

Michigan’s Swift and Sure program began as a pilot project in the state’s 2012 budget for counties with combined courts and drug courts. Public Acts 616 and 617 of 2012 made it a permanent program, supervising high-risk probationers and requiring them to undergo frequent, random drug and alcohol testing so treatment decisions are based on the probationer’s behavior.

The program is based on Hawaii’s HOPE program, a successful initiative created by Judge Alm that helped significantly reduce crime and drug use by probationers and resulted in substantial cost savings.

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