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Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Benefit-Cost Results

Since the 1990s, the Washington State legislature has directed WSIPP to identify “evidence-based” policies. The goal is to provide Washington policymakers and budget writers with a list of well-researched public policies that can, with a high degree of certainty, lead to better statewide outcomes coupled with a more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

Research Approach. WSIPP has developed a three-step process to draw conclusions about what works and what does not to achieve particular outcomes of legislative interest. First, we systematically assess all high-quality studies from the United States and elsewhere to identify policy options that have been tested and found to achieve improvements in outcomes. Second, we determine how much it would cost Washington taxpayers to produce the results found in Step 1, and calculate how much it would be worth to people in Washington State to achieve the improved outcome. That is, in dollars and cents terms, we compare the benefits and costs of each policy option. It is important to note that the benefit-cost estimates pertain specifically to Washington State; results will vary from state to state. Third, we assess the risk in the estimates to determine the odds that a particular policy option will at least break even. ...show more

WSIPP acknowledges the MacArthur Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts that have helped fund some of the research reported on this page.

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Overview of WSIPP's Benefit-Cost Model

Estimating Program Effects Using Effect Sizes

For details on our benefit-cost methods, contact Michael Hirsch or download our Technical Documentation.

Latest Results. The tables on this webpage present our current findings for a variety of public policy topics. Items on these tables are updated periodically as new information becomes available. Interested readers can find more information by clicking each entry in the tables.

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Benefit-cost methods last updated December 2019

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Current estimates replace old estimates. Numbers will change over time as a result of model inputs and monetization methods.

Juvenile Justice

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Key Terms

Court-involved youth: Youth who are processed through the juvenile justice system but who are not ordered to a period of confinement in a residential or correctional facility. This includes populations of arrested youth, diverted youth, charged youth, adjudicated youth, and youth on probation or formal supervision.

Youth in state institutions: Youth who are confined in a residential or correctional facility when they participate in the program.

Youth post-release: Youth who are returning to the community following a period of confinement in a residential or correctional facility and who participate in the program after release to the community.

For questions on benefit-cost results relating to Juvenile Justice, contact Lauren Knoth.
Program name
(click on the program name for more detail)
Date of last literature review
Total benefits
Taxpayer benefits
Non-taxpayer benefits
Costs
Benefits minus costs (net present value)
Benefit to cost ratio
Chance benefits will exceed costs
Mar. 2019 $148,271 $34,067 $114,203 ($7,910) $140,361 $18.75 100 %
Jun. 2019 $49,333 $10,385 $38,949 ($1,514) $47,819 $32.59 93 %
Jul. 2019 $17,190 $865 $16,325 $25,988 $43,179 n/a 100 %
Jul. 2019 $40,878 $10,667 $30,211 ($2,996) $37,882 $13.64 92 %
Jul. 2019 $31,451 $7,624 $23,826 $2,770 $34,221 n/a 100 %
Jun. 2019 $40,534 $11,437 $29,097 ($9,442) $31,092 $4.29 90 %
Aug. 2017 $35,996 $8,554 $27,442 ($4,959) $31,037 $7.26 99 %
Jun. 2019 $33,294 $7,564 $25,731 ($3,548) $29,746 $9.38 93 %
Aug. 2017 $29,131 $6,414 $22,717 ($3,415) $25,716 $8.53 72 %
Feb. 2019 $24,697 $6,338 $18,359 ($1,389) $23,308 $17.78 83 %
Jun. 2019 $22,799 $5,855 $16,944 $352 $23,151 n/a 100 %
Feb. 2019 $25,608 $7,036 $18,571 ($3,044) $22,563 $8.41 99 %
Mar. 2019 $26,332 $6,894 $19,438 ($4,978) $21,355 $5.29 88 %
Jun. 2019 $22,264 $6,482 $15,782 ($2,736) $19,528 $8.14 85 %
May. 2019 $25,554 $7,217 $18,336 ($8,471) $17,083 $3.02 99 %
Jul. 2019 $16,532 $3,597 $12,935 ($314) $16,217 $52.59 68 %
Aug. 2019 $18,672 $4,609 $14,063 ($4,141) $14,531 $4.51 74 %
Jul. 2019 $21,079 $6,165 $14,914 ($6,934) $14,145 $3.04 79 %
May. 2019 $10,911 $2,708 $8,203 $1,294 $12,204 n/a 84 %
May. 2019 $8,433 $2,012 $6,421 $1,607 $10,040 n/a 99 %
May. 2019 $22,991 $8,464 $14,528 ($14,794) $8,197 $1.55 59 %
Mar. 2019 $11,282 $3,374 $7,907 ($4,084) $7,197 $2.76 72 %
Jul. 2019 $9,350 $2,652 $6,698 ($2,244) $7,106 $4.17 82 %
May. 2019 $5,546 $1,322 $4,224 $1,278 $6,825 n/a 100 %
Apr. 2018 $1,933 $95 $1,839 $3,014 $4,947 n/a 61 %
May. 2019 $13,519 $4,474 $9,045 ($8,577) $4,942 $1.58 59 %
Feb. 2019 $5,079 $1,466 $3,613 ($441) $4,638 $11.51 95 %
Jul. 2019 $2,813 $731 $2,083 ($52) $2,761 $53.66 67 %
Aug. 2019 $1,724 $330 $1,395 $981 $2,705 n/a 77 %
Feb. 2019 $14,751 $4,550 $10,201 ($12,576) $2,174 $1.17 53 %
Mar. 2019 $2,745 $868 $1,877 ($1,624) $1,121 $1.69 55 %
Aug. 2017 $799 $500 $299 ($2,215) ($1,416) $0.36 48 %
May. 2019 ($485) $7 ($492) ($1,022) ($1,507) ($0.48) 33 %
Jul. 2019 ($2,069) ($500) ($1,569) ($148) ($2,217) ($13.98) 41 %
Jul. 2019 ($1,544) ($173) ($1,371) ($838) ($2,382) ($1.84) 44 %
Aug. 2017 $538 $746 ($209) ($3,131) ($2,593) $0.17 43 %
Jul. 2019 ($2,742) ($652) ($2,090) ($530) ($3,272) ($5.17) 28 %
Jun. 2019 ($2,541) ($429) ($2,111) ($1,687) ($4,227) ($1.51) 22 %
Jun. 2019 $15,114 $7,770 $7,344 ($25,586) ($10,472) $0.59 26 %
May. 2019 ($15,166) ($3,808) ($11,358) ($313) ($15,479) ($48.45) 2 %
Jul. 2019 ($11,581) ($2,036) ($9,545) ($4,881) ($16,463) ($2.37) 5 %
Apr. 2019 ($17,900) ($4,595) ($13,305) ($28) ($17,928) ($630.45) 3 %
Jul. 2019 ($14,563) ($2,591) ($11,972) ($10,312) ($24,875) ($1.41) 2 %
To view details of all Juvenile Justice programs in a single pdf, click here.

Other Juvenile Justice topics reviewed; benefit-cost results not yet available:

Program name
(click on the program name for more detail)
Date of last literature review Notes
Adolescent Diversion Project (ADP) (vs. simple release)
Jun. 2019 Click for meta-analytic results
Aggression Replacement Training (ART) for youth in state institutions
Jun. 2019 Click for meta-analytic results
Equipping Youth to Help Each Other (EQUIP) for youth in state institutions
Jun. 2019 Click for meta-analytic results
Functional Family Therapy (FFT) for post-release youth convicted of a sex offense
Jul. 2019 Click for meta-analytic results
Canine training programs for youth in state institutions
May. 2019 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Comprehensive Homicide Initiative NEW
Feb. 2020 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Connections Wraparound for court-involved youth
Jun. 2019 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) for substance use disorder: Integrated Treatment Model for youth in state institutions
Jun. 2019 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Electronic monitoring for court-involved/post-release youth
Jun. 2019 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Gang Reduction Program (Los Angeles, CA) NEW
May. 2020 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Gang Reduction Program (Richmond, VA) NEW
May. 2020 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Girls Only Active Learning (GOAL) NEW
Jun. 2020 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Group homes (Sanctuary Model) for youth in state institutions
May. 2019 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI)
May. 2019 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Project Broader Urban Involvement and Leadership Development (Project BUILD) for youth in state institutions
May. 2019 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
The Missouri Approach (Missouri Model) for youth in state institutions
May. 2019 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Trauma Affect Regulation: Guide for Education and Therapy (TARGET) for youth involved in the juvenile justice system
May. 2019 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Wayne County (Michigan) Second Chance Reentry Program
May. 2019 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
You Are Not Your Past
May. 2019 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Youth Advocate Programs—Mentoring
Aug. 2018 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
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