A judge (right now Judge Alm) will make all the final rulings in your case. Most of those rulings will be based off information from the probation officer. The probation officer doesn't want you to fail. If anything, she wants you to succeed so she no longer has to worry about you. Your job is to give her reasons why she doesn't have to worry about you. Why she thinks you will do the right thing.
The most important thing to remember is this is not a way to punish you worse than ordinary probation. If anything, HOPE probationers generally do about 48% less jail per charge total, than other probationers. Don't look at it as having greater punishment, but as better guideposts as to what is expected. As long as you're moving in the directions of the expectations, you'll do fine.
Do. Your. Treatment.
Easy for me to say, I don't have to sit through it. Easy for people in Halawa to say, they look back and wish they had one more chance to finish their treatment. The vast majority of HOPE probationers will have some type of Drug treatment before the "colors" start. DO IT. COMPLETE IT. GRADUATE IT.
A lot of Probationers think they can just handle, and you know what, maybe you can. But why? Why take the extra chance of having the judge, the probation officer and the prosecutor all think that you're "Not taking this seriously". If your job was to dig a hole of a certain depth in the ground, and someone offered you a shovel, you'd take the shovel. If you chose instead to dig with your hands, no one would think you are serious about digging that hole.
Treatment is a tool you use to complete probation. Period. Use whatever tools you can to complete your probation without going to jail. Treatment is your shovel.
441-8989. 441-8989. 441-8989. Everyday. (Sometimes twice if you're sleepy.)
You get a color and a number, and if both come up on the hotline, you're required to come down to the probation office and pee in a cup. Hopefully soon, more places will open up around the island, and you'll be able to do your drug test closer to home or work, not just at the probation office.
It's your responsibility to call the number. Not your girlfriend's, not the manager of the clean and sober house. My suggestion is you call everyday. Call Saturday and Sunday. The last thing you want to do is get jail time because you woke up and read your calendar wrong! The first thing you do on waking up is call this number.
I also suggest you call it twice. Call it again as you leave the house. You're awake now, clear thinking. Sometimes that Red-two you heard was really red-three, and again, you don't want to go to jail because you were drowsy when you called.
Admit, admit, admit!
Alright, for this one sometimes you need an attorney for specific things. I'm not talking about murder or assault charges. BUT:
When you go to your probation officer's office, if your pee is going to test dirty, admit BEFORE you pee. We're talking the difference between a couple days and a week in jail. We're talking a 14+ Billion dollar industry ($14,000,000,000), in drug testing, and they only way they stay in business is to find the drugs in your system. Holding your breath won't help.
Telling the probation officer. Doing your days inside. That helps you. And the judge will say "I appreciate you being honest. I appreciate you saving your probation officer from having to give you this test". If you forget to call: admit. If you slept through your appointment: admit.
Anything more serious than those listed above, talk to your attorney before you admit to it. Pretty much any criminal attorney in town can tell you if it is something you should admit to quickly.
Turn yourself in.
I can't emphasize this one enough. The old version of probation, the idea was violate until they're going to put you in prison, and then stay on the run until they find you. And then say you're sorry, you're just scared, and pray they don't put you in prison.
Not with HOPE. HOPE is about personal responsibility. HOPE is about knowing you're getting violated, and showing up in court, or at the police station and saying "You don't know me, but I need to get arrested.".
By turning yourself in, you're honoring the contract you made to be on HOPE. That if you screw up, you'd own up. Nothing builds up trust more with the probation officer, and especially with Judge Alm, than saying "I know I'm going to jail. But here I am to face that responsibility."
Make progress, even if you face setbacks.
No one gets sentenced to prison for moving forward. Having been there since the beginning, I'm trying to think if I've ever heard of anyone being punished in HOPE for moving too slow. I can't think of one.
The purpose of HOPE is to give you tools so when you run into trouble. When problems arise, you face it, own up to it, and handle it. And move on to the next problem. You may relapse. You may sleep through a hotline. You may miss an appointment. It's how you deal with these setbacks that determine your future. Not just for your time on probation, but for your life.
Before, when you were on drugs, your dealing with consequences was smoking more ICE. Now you're learning how to face consequences, and conquer them.
I'm the first attorney to rage against a government program. But HOPE is probably the last best way to stay out of prison. Don't waste this chance. If you have trouble, follow the steps, call your probation officer, just show up in court.
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