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Washington Intensive Supervision Program (WISP)

In 2011, the City of Seattle collaborated with the Department of Corrections to conduct a one year pilot program called the Washington Intensive Supervision Program (WISP). This program was modeled using the principles of the successful Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program. Although WISP was a modified version of HOPE, it shared each of the research based tenets of the original HOPE program to reduce drug use, new crimes, and incarceration. The HOPE program relies on swift and certain but modest sanctions in response to every violation of any term of supervision, including failure to appear for an appointment and positive tests for illicit drugs.

A study on the pilot program informed decisions to reengineer the Community Corrections Division in 2012, which was designed to increase offender compliance and connect offenders with evidence-based programs that will reduce the likelihood they will commit new crimes once their supervision ends.


The principle investigator was Angela Hawken, an associate professor of economics and policy analysis at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy. The WISP pilot concluded in February 2012. Key findings included: reduced drug use, reduced incarcerations, and reduced criminal activity. Future research of this study is recommended.

Permanent link to this article: http://offenderchange.org/research/washington-intensive-supervision-program-wisp/