Every year, Cook County sends thousands of non-violent offenders to the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) that might be otherwise eligible for probation. According to IDOC, more than 50% of Illinois prison admissions are for Class 3 and Class 4 offenses. Most of these offenders spend less than six months in prison, which requires expensive processing costs but rarely provides the opportunity to offer effective rehabilitative services.
Cook County proposes utilizing Adult Redeploy Illinois funds to target services to probationers to reduce instances drug use, crime and resulting violations over time. The program will be modeled, in part, on the Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program developed by Judge Steven Alm. Under the program non-violent, felony probationers will be randomly assigned to the HOPE program which will use swift and certain sanctions for each violation with the overall goal of reducing admissions to IDOC by decreasing drug use, missed probation appointments, probation violations and arrests for new crimes.
Launched in 2004, the HOPE program has shown promising results in reducing violations, re-arrests and drug use. According to a one-year randomized control trial, HOPE probationers were 55% less likely to be arrested for a new crime, 72% less likely to skip appointments with their supervisory officer and 53% less likely to have their probation revoked. As a result, the HOPE probationers served or were sentenced to an average of 48% fewer days of incarceration than the control group.
Using Adult Redeploy resources, Cook County seeks to change the way the criminal justice system approaches probation. The program will provide more constructive support to probationers through consistent and fair sanctions coupled with treatment and services. The key stakeholders engaged in Adult Redeploy Illinois planning and implementation include the Office of the Chief Judge, State’s Attorney’s Office, Office of the Public Defender, Adult Probation Office, Sheriff’s Office, and the Judicial Advisory Council. Cook County will utilize an Adult Redeploy Illinois grant to hire staffing, increase drug testing, provide electronic monitoring, and secure treatment and other services for participants in order to improve their chances of successfully completing probation and staying out of prison.
According to IDOC data, the County sends approximately 500 people to prison annually on probation violations for Class 3 and Class 4 felony crimes. From this target population, 250 participants for the program will be randomly selected to participate in the program. The goal of the program will be to detour 125 (or 25% of the target population of 500) probationers from incarceration at the Illinois Department of Corrections.
The key stakeholders engaged in Adult Redeploy Illinois planning and implementation include the Office of the Chief Judge, State’s Attorney’s Office, Office of the Public Defender, Adult Probation Office, Sheriff’s Office, and the Judicial Advisory Council.
Award: $1,000,000 (15 months – October 1, 2011-December 31, 2012)