The Virginia legislature had authorized an immediate sanctions program (ISP), modeled after Hawaii’s famous HOPE program, at four pilot projects under Va. Code § 19.2-303.5. Harrisonburg and Rockingham county was one of these four, and began ISP on January 1, 2014. Unfortunately, the pilot projects were not able to maintain fidelity to the model. Less than half of the violations were making it to trial in under three days, and accordingly outcomes were was less than was hoped. The authorizing legislation was not renewed by the general assembly and expired in July 2017. The Valley Justice Coalition continues to support the HOPE/ISP model, and hopes that additional pilot programs will be attempted in the future with a greater commitment to maintaining program fidelity.

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Further Reading