News release from the Allen Superior Court:
Judge Davis Part of National Panel on HOPE Probation
Allen Superior Court Judge to spotlight local success in rehabilitating offenders
(September 2, 2015) – Allen Superior Court Judge Wendy Davis has been invited to be part of a panel of criminal justice professionals from around the nation presenting at a conference in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 16.
Judge Davis will speak on her experience implementing the HOPE Probation program in Allen County and offer ideas for implementing the successful program in other communities.
“Allen County has for years been looked to as a statewide innovator in the field of alternative sentencing and problem solving courts for non-violent offenders,” Judge Davis said. “Now, we get to tell a national audience about all we are doing here to keep our community safe by giving non-violent drug offenders a chance to rehabilitate and rejoin society while conserving scarce prison space for violent offenders.”
The HOPE (Hoosiers Opportunity Probation with Enforcement) concept, originated in Hawaii and brought to Indiana in 2011 by Judge Davis, is designed for offenders who pose a low threat to the community, but risk their own wellbeing through substance abuse or repeated probation violations. The program is an alternative to incarceration that includes random drug and alcohol testing. Those who test positive are subject to immediate, brief incarceration. Studies show that HOPE programs are effective in reducing drug abuse, criminal behavior crime and incarceration.
By offering probationers a chance to complete rehabilitation on their own, HOPE programs save scarce drug treatment facility slots for those who cannot recover by their own initiatives. Over 100 offenders have graduated from the Allen County HOPE program and remain clean and sober.
Judge Davis will be part of a panel discussion during “The State of the Art of the HOPE Probation Model: A Roundtable Discussion for Criminal Justice Leaders.” The event takes place Sept. 16 in Washington, D.C. The roundtable is being organized by the non-profit Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc., which will sponsor the cost of Judge Davis’ travel to Washington.