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Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Effectiveness of the drug offender sentencing alternative (DOSA)

The 2020 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to evaluate the effectiveness of the drug offender sentencing alternative (DOSA). DOSA allows individuals to participate in treatment and community supervision in lieu of some (Prison DOSA) or all (Residential DOSA) of their incarceration sentence. This evaluation will examine whether participation in DOSA reduces recidivism and whether those effects vary for prison- and residential-based DOSA programs. The legislature directed WSIPP to repeat these evaluations on a regular schedule to continuously monitor the effects of the program.

An initial evaluation report is due to the governor and the legislature by November 1, 2022. Additional evaluation reports are due to the governor and the legislature on November 1, 2028, and every five years thereafter.
Lauren Knoth, (360) 664-9805 View Legislation

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the adult criminal justice system

In December 2020, the WSIPP board of directors approved a study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the adult criminal justice system. WSIPP will examine how the flow of individuals through the criminal justice system has changed by county and by type of offense. The report will contain person-level criminal justice benchmarks from calendar years 2018 through 2020, focusing on the number of people going from one step to another step of the system and the time spent at each step. The report will also address what might happen to the timing of criminal justice benchmarks for individuals under different scenarios of system processing.

WSIPP will produce a brief final report on the changes in caseloads in the adult criminal justice system at the end of June 2021.
Michael Hirsch, (360) 664-9081

Exclusive Adult Jurisdiction

The 2018 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to assess the impact of changes to the Juvenile Justice Act (JJA), as outlined in E2SSB 6160. To the extent possible, the study should include impacts to community safety, racial disproportionality, recidivism, state expenditures, and youth rehabilitation.

The 2019 Legislature amended WSIPP’s assignment to include an assessment of additional components contained in Sections 2-6 of E2SHB 1646. WSIPP must also conduct a benefit-cost analysis which includes the health impacts and recidivism effects of extending the JJA to include all offenses committed under the age of twenty-one.

A preliminary report is due to the legislature by December 1, 2023 with a final report due December 1, 2031.
Paige Wanner, (360) 664-9078 View Legislation