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Publications

Found 601 results

Washington State’s Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative: Introduction to the Series

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Lauren Knoth-Peterson, Katelyn Kelley - November 2022

In Washington State, individuals convicted of certain offenses may be eligible to receive a sentencing alternative called the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA). Established in 1995 and modified several times over the last 25 years, DOSA allows individuals to serve some or all of their standard prison sentence under community supervision instead of spending the entire sentence incarcerated. This sentencing alternative requires that individuals participate in substance use treatment programs based on their assessed needs and comply with behavioral requirements while incarcerated and/or during community supervision.

In 2020, the Washington State Legislature further expanded DOSA and directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to analyze its effectiveness in reducing recidivism compared to standard sentencing. The directive requires WSIPP to update its evaluation in 2028 and every five years thereafter. This report introduces the forthcoming report series by describing the development of DOSA over time and reviewing prior evaluations of DOSA’s effectiveness.

Report ID: 22-11-1902
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Washington State’s Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative: 2022 Outcome Evaluation

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Lauren Knoth-Peterson, Katelyn Kelley - November 2022

In Washington State, some individuals convicted of a criminal offense may be eligible to receive a Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA) in lieu of the standard incarceration sentence.

Using administrative data from the Department of Corrections and WSIPP’s Criminal History Database, this study examined whether individuals participating in prison or residential DOSA were less likely to recidivate compared to similar individuals who received a non-DOSA sentence.

Our findings indicate the prison DOSA reduces the likelihood of recidivism by 6.9 percentage points. These reductions in recidivism were consistent across subgroups by sex, race, and ethnicity.

Our findings for residential DOSA were less conclusive. In general, residential DOSA had no effect on the likelihood of recidivism compared to a standard sentence. While we provide several potential explanations for the differences in the effectiveness of prison and residential DOSA, future research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms by which the two DOSA programs impact individuals’ outcomes, including recidivism.

Report ID: 22-11-1903
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Technical Review of the Washington State Environmental Health Disparities Map

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Bailey Ingraham, Kara Krnacik - November 2022

The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to conduct a technical review of the measures and methods used in the Washington State Department of Health’s Environmental Health Disparities (EHD) Map.

We found that Washington’s EHD Map is one of many in the United States. It uses a similar range of indicators, methodology, and source data compared with the most sophisticated environmental justice (EJ) mapping tools. These EJ tools use some of the best data available at small geographical levels to measure environmental exposures and health disparities. They provide insight into a variety of the environmental harms present in communities and how well-equipped these communities are to overcome those challenges.

Over time, developers will need to regularly review their EJ map tools. The HEAL Act requires the Washington EHD Map to be regularly revised and updated, with comprehensive evaluations occurring every three years. Currently, Washington's tool is comparable in sophistication and detail to other existing tools. However, there are a few additional or enhanced features found in other state tools that Washington does not have, including the following:

  • Additional indicators reflecting sensitive populations;
  • Additional water quality measures;
  • Specific statistical adjustments for missing data; and
  • Easily accessible user guides and how-to videos on the hosting website.

Report ID: 22-11-3201
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Washington State's Reentry Community Services Program: Background and Study Outline

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Lauren Knoth-Peterson, Corey Whichard - November 2022

For the last 20 years, Washington State has provided unique reentry services for individuals who are at high-risk for recidivism and who have a mental illness. The Reentry Community Services Program (RCSP) provides eligible individuals with coordinated pre- and post-release services to assist with reentry. Individuals are eligible to receive 60 months of mental health services and housing assistance. Additional services are provided on an individual basis depending on need and the availability of resources.

Prior research shows that compared to similar individuals who do not receive these services, RCSP participants are more likely to access mental health services in the community, more likely to access social welfare services during reentry, less likely to require inpatient hospitalization after release, and less likely to recidivate. In addition, research finds that the program achieves these outcomes in a cost-beneficial way.

In 2021, the Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to update its evaluation of the RCSP, examine the potential expansion of the program, and investigate additional therapeutic components to further support individuals’ reentry to the community.

This preliminary report reviews prior research on the RCSP and provides an outline of the approach WSIPP intends to take for its final report to be published in November 2023.

Report ID: 22-11-1901
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Findings From the 2021 Survey of Health and Recreation in Washington State: Gambling Behaviors and Prevalence

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Marna Miller, Rebecca Xie - October 2022

In 2021, the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) conducted a survey of adults in Washington to better understand the prevalence of gambling and problem gambling. HCA contracted with WSIPP to conduct additional analyses.

WSIPP’s analysis found that fewer than half of respondents reported they had gambled in the past 12 months. Of those who had gambled, 3.5% were classified as problem gamblers. Statistically significant differences were detected in the prevalence of gambling and problem gambling among some different demographic populations (demographics collected include gender, marital status, ethnicity, age, education, military service, employment, type of insurance, and geographic region). Compared to those who gambled only in brick-and-mortar establishments, online gamblers were significantly more likely to be problem gamblers. Gamblers who self-identified as having problems with substance use, mental health, or other behaviors, were more likely to be problem gamblers than others not reporting these problems. Most of the population said they thought the harms of gambling outweighed the benefits. A similar proportion said the availability in Washington was fine—neither too available nor not available enough.

Report ID: 22-10-3901
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Mandatory Arrest for Domestic Violence: A Systematic Review

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Marna Miller, Katelyn Kelley - June 2022

Washington State law requires that, given probable cause, police must make an arrest when called to a domestic violence (DV) incident. The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to conduct a systematic review of the research on mandatory arrest in DV cases. We found no evidence that mandatory arrest is more effective than discretionary arrest at reducing future DV offenses. Specifically, we found six rigorous studies of the effect of mandatory arrest on DV recidivism. On average, across the studies, mandatory arrest had no effect on whether an individual committed a subsequent DV offense. Further, another study found that mandatory arrest laws did not affect a state’s prevalence of DV. A separate study found that mandatory arrest laws had no effect on DV homicide.

Report ID: 22-06-1201
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Wilderness Therapy Programs: A Systematic Review of Research

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Julia Cramer, Paige Wanner - June 2022

Wilderness therapy programs are set in natural or remote settings and embed therapeutic elements into daily outdoor activities like camping and backpacking in order to build program participants’ personal and interpersonal skills. Some programs serve individuals with behavioral, mental health, and substance use disorders.

In 2021, the Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct a research review of wilderness therapy programs and assess stakeholder interest in Washington. We identified 88 studies evaluating programs serving youth and adult populations in need of behavioral, mental health, and substance use support. Due to limitations in the literature, we could not estimate whether or not wilderness therapy programs are effective or determine if the approach is cost beneficial. In this report, we describe our systematic literature review and summarize the main themes from the literature including program models, populations served, and general findings.

A second report, due December 2022, builds on this report and will focus on the interest of stakeholders who currently participate in wilderness therapy programs in Washington or want to in the future.

Report ID: 22-06-1901
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What Works for Whom? Juvenile Court Assessment Tool and Program Eligibility

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Lauren Knoth-Peterson, Colin Gibson, Nathan Adams - June 2022

In 2022, Washington State Juvenile Courts will transition to a new risk-needs-responsivity assessment, the Juvenile Court Assessment Tool (JCAT). Replacing the former PACT assessment, the JCAT will be used to facilitate case management for court-involved youth, including referrals to state-funded evidence-based programs (EBPs). Following completion of the JCAT in 2020, the 2021 Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to review the JCAT to assess potential eligibility under the JCAT that would appropriately assign youth to programs that meet their needs.

This study uses administrative data from the juvenile courts to examine what characteristics of youth are associated with significant reductions in recidivism following referral to and participation in state-funded EBPs. We examine recidivism outcomes for male and female youth who previously were eligible for and participated in the six state-funded EBPs to assess what risk scores, needs scores, and specific youth characteristics correlated with reductions in recidivism following participation in an EBP intervention.

The findings indicate that some youth characteristics identified on the JCAT are associated with significant reductions in recidivism following EBP participation, but these factors vary across sex and type of EBP. While not prescribing new eligibility criteria, the findings will assist the juvenile courts as they develop and refine eligibility for state-funded EBPs under the JCAT.

Report ID: 22-06-1902
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WSIPP's LAP Inventory: A Brief History and Potential Changes for the Future

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Julia Cramer - May 2022

The Learning Assistance Program (LAP) provides supplemental services to K–12 students who are not meeting standards in reading, writing, mathematics, or readiness in these areas. In 2014, the Washington Legislature directed WSIPP to develop an inventory of programs that could be used in LAP, classify programs as evidence-based, research-based, or promising, and update this inventory every two years. WSIPP’s current LAP inventory includes 58 programs related to topics like tutoring, educator professional development, family engagement, community-based partnerships, and behavioral supports.

WSIPP was scheduled to update the inventory in 2022 but has put a hold on this work while it assesses the use of the inventory. In the absence of our regular update, this brief provides a historical review of the LAP inventory, describes potential changes resulting from 2021 legislation, and offers a discussion of options regarding the future of the inventory.

Report ID: 22-05-2201
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Evaluation of the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program: Kindergarten Readiness for School-and Part-Day Enrollees

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Julia Cramer, Amani Rashid - January 2022

The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) was created in 1985 and is a statewide program that provides preschool education and wraparound services to low-income children and their families. Most children are eligible for ECEAP services if they are three or four years old and live in households with income less than or equal to 110% of the federal poverty level. Eligible children can enroll in ECEAP for Part-Day classes, or for longer periods of time in School Day or Working Day classes.

In 2019, the Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to examine ECEAP’s dosage models. We operationalized this legislative directive by comparing outcomes between children enrolled in School Day and Part Day classes. In our sample, we include children who enrolled in ECEAP (when they were four years old) between academic years 2015-2019 and subsequently enrolled in kindergarten the following year.

Overall, we found a positive relationship between School-Day enrollment and children’s kindergarten readiness, as measured by the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) assessment. Upon further analysis, we found that children in School Day classes were more likely to meet expectations in physical, cognitive, literacy, and mathematics domains on the WaKIDS assessment. Findings from subgroup analyses suggest that holding all other factors constant, the estimated size of the relationship between School-Day enrollment and kindergarten readiness is largest among non-Hispanic BIPOC and White children. We did not observe a relationship between School-Day enrollment and kindergarten readiness among Hispanic children. This report describes our legislative assignment, research questions, the methodological approach we used, main findings, and limitations in more detail.

In addition to examining ECEAP’s dosage models, the 2019 legislation also directed WSIPP to evaluate the long-and short-term effects of ECEAP. Ultimately, results from these two reports suggest that children who enroll in ECEAP are more likely to be kindergarten ready (than similar non-participants) and among ECEAP enrollees, those in longer class periods (School Day) are more likely to be kindergarten-ready than peers in Part Day.

Report ID: 22-01-2201
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