The Prosecutor

Alm Timeline

  • From 1985 through 1994, Judge Alm served as a deputy prosecutor at the Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office. He was a Felony Division Team Captain and then the Director of the District and Family Court Division. He personally prosecuted 26 jury trials, including 5 murder cases, the last being the murder of Honolulu Police Officer David Ronk.

  • From 1994 through 2001, Judge Alm was the United States Attorney for the District of Hawai‘i. During his tenure, the office focused on corruption, white-collar crime, and large-scale drug trafficking. The office also worked with police to investigate, capture, and prosecute the ring responsible for hundreds of violent purse snatchings aimed at Japanese tourists. He also led the law enforcement effort that reduced crime in Chinatown and Kalihi-Palama by over 70% in three years

  • Prosecuting Attorney Steven S. Alm was a Circuit Court Judge from May 2001 to August 2016. He presided at over 200 jury trials and thousands of guilty pleas and sentencings.

  • From 2005, until he left the bench, Judge Alm co-chaired the Interagency Council on Intermediate Sanctions. In 2005, and again in 2015, he was asked to chair the 29-member, multi-agency Penal Code Review Committee. The 2015 effort, for example, made 84 statutory change recommendations which were all adopted by the Hawai‘i Legislature and became law on July 1, 2016. In 2010, Judge Alm was named Hawai‘i Jurist of the Year.





  • In 2004, he helped create Hawaii’s Opportunity Probation with Enforcement, also known as the HOPE Probation program. He was the principal HOPE Probation judge until he stepped down from the bench. He also served for three and a half years as an Adult Drug Court judge.

  • In 2007, HOPE Probation received the American Judicature Society’s Special Merit Citation Award, and in January 2009, Judge Alm received the McGovern Award presented by the Institute for Behavior and Health for the most promising drug policy idea of the year. In 2013, HOPE Probation was named as one of the “Top 25 Innovations in Government” by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and in 2014, HOPE was selected as the National Criminal Justice Association Outstanding Criminal Justice Program for the Western Region.

  • Judge Alm stepped down from the Bench on September 1, 2016. He and his wife, Haunani, temporarily relocated to the Washington D.C. area for him to consult with judges, probation officers, non-profits, and government entities nationwide to implement the HOPE strategy with fidelity. Currently, 32 states and one territory (Guam) have started HOPE-style initiatives in probation, parole, pretrial, and in prisons (to reduce inmate-on-inmate and inmate-on-staff assaults and to reduce their over-reliance on restrictive housing/solitary confinement). He was asked by the State Department to join their Speakers Program which shares innovative American ideas like HOPE Probation abroad and was active in that program representing the United States in Brazil and Sweden

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