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Washington's Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative: An Evaluation of Benefits and Costs

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Steve Aos, Polly Phipps, Robert Barnoski - January 2005

The Washington State legislature directed the Institute to evaluate whether the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA) influences recidivism rates and whether the benefits of DOSA outweigh the costs. We analyzed the effects of the legislation by comparing a group of offenders who received DOSA sentences with a similar group of offenders sentenced prior to the 1999 implementation date of DOSA. As described in the report, our overall finding is that DOSA is an effective criminal justice policy for drug offenders but neutral for drug-involved property offenders.

Report ID: 05-01-1901

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