The Atlantic recently scrutinized the possibility of having "Prisons Without Walls" as an alternative to incarceration. The story articulated findings behind Professor Mark Kleiman's book, When Brute Force Fails, and Judge Steven Alm's Project HOPE, discussing them as progressive methods for rehabilitation and probation reform. The result has been an innnovative approach towards crime reduction.
We discovered that most of these guys can stop using on their own,” Alm explained, given the discipline imposed by HOPE. For most probationers, the strict observation was as good as, or better than, any drug-treatment program. It generally took no more than one stint in jail before an offender realized that the consequences of a relapse were real; second violations were unusual. And according to a study co-authored by Kleiman, recidivism—that is, arrests for the commission of new crimes, rather than just violations of probation—dropped by half.