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Washington State Institute for Public Policy

American Steel Requirement

The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct a study on the comparison of regulations and benefit-cost analysis of a potential requirement to use American steel for future contracts and subcontracts authorized in the Washington State transportation and capital budgets. The study must, to the extent feasible, including the following:

  • Compare existing types and uses of steel to made in America steel alternatives including evaluation of quality;
  • Examine benefits to Washington workers and the Washington economy;
  • Examine lifecycle and embodied carbon greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Identify requirements for purchasing American steel that minimize costs and maximize benefits; and
  • Evaluate American steel requirements or preferences in other states.

A final report was originally due to the legislature by December 1, 2021. In June 2021, the WSIPP Board of Directors voted to shift the deadline to December 1, 2022.
Stephanie Lee, (360) 664-9803 View Legislation

Cannabis Legalization Evaluation

In November 2012, Washington State voters passed Initiative 502 to regulate and tax the use and sale of cannabis for persons twenty-one years of age and older. As part of I-502, WSIPP was directed to “conduct cost-benefit evaluations of the implementation” of the law. The evaluations must include measures of impacts on public health, public safety, cannabis use, the economy, the criminal justice system, and state and local costs and revenues.

A preliminary report was released in September 2015. The second required report was released in September 2017. Subsequent reports will be released in 2022 and 2032.

Supplemental to the ongoing benefit-cost evaluation of cannabis legalization authorized by Initiative 502 in 2012, the 2018 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct additional cannabis research. WSIPP was directed to update its inventory of programs for the prevention and treatment of youth cannabis use; examine current data collection methods measuring the use of cannabis by youth and potential ways to improve on these methods; and identify effective methods used to reduce or eliminate the unlicensed cultivation or distribution of marijuana in jurisdictions with existing legal marijuana markets.

Related reports:
Monitoring Trends in Use Prior to Implementation of I-502 and Employment and Wage Earnings in Licensed Marijuana Businesses.
Eva Westley, (360) 664-9089 View Legislation

Wilderness Therapy

The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct a research review of wilderness therapy programs. In its review, WSIPP must consider programs that offer behavioral health treatment services, prevention services, and examine whether programs are cost beneficial. WSIPP must also assess interest in these types of programs among, but not limited to, Washington State Tribes and prevention coalitions. WSIPP will partner with a content expert to complete its review.

The legislature asked for a report on the research review and cost-benefit analyses by December 31, 2021. In June 2021, the WSIPP Board of Directors voted to extend this study deadline to June 30, 2022. The legislature asked for a final report focusing on stakeholder interests by June 30, 2022. In June 2021, the WSIPP Board of Directors voted to extend the final study deadline to December 1, 2022.

Julia Cramer, (360) 664-9073 View Legislation

Update to Inventory of Evidence-Based, Research-Based, and Promising Practices for Prevention and Intervention Services for Children

The 2012 Legislature passed E2SHB 2536 with the intention that “prevention and intervention services delivered to children and juveniles in the areas of mental health, child welfare, and juvenile justice be primarily evidence-based and research-based, and it is anticipated that such services will be provided in a manner that is culturally competent.”

The bill directs the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) and the University of Washington Evidence-Based Practice Institute (UW) to publish descriptive definitions and prepare an inventory of evidence-based, research-based, and promising practices and services, and to periodically updates the inventory as more practices are identified. The initial inventory was published in 2012, and in 2020 WSIPP published the tenth update.

For the 2021 update, WSIPP will review the inventory’s role in evidence-based policymaking in Washington State. Specifically, through stakeholder interviews across service areas, we will gather feedback about both current inventory use and potential revisions for future iterations of WSIPP’s inventory work.

This project goes through September 2021.

Rebecca Goodvin, (360) 664-9077 View Legislation

Short-Term Foster Care Support Services

The 2017 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to complete an evaluation of short-term foster care support. The legislation describes short-term support as case aides who provide temporary assistance to foster parents as needed with the overall goal of supporting the parental efforts of the foster parents. The short-term support does not include overnight assistance. The evaluation will, to the maximum extent possible, assess the impact of the short-term support services on the retention of foster homes and the number of placements a foster child receives while in out-of-home care, as well as the return on investment to the state.

A preliminary report was released in November 2018. The final report was originally due to the legislature by June 30, 2020. In 2019, the legislature passed SSB 5955 which extended the due date of the final report to June 30, 2021. In June 2020, the WSIPP Board of Directors voted to extend the study deadline to June 30, 2023.
Rebecca Goodvin, (360) 664-9077 View Legislation

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

Legal Financial Obligations

In Washington, whenever a person is convicted in superior court, the court may order the payment of a legal financial obligation (LFO) as part of the sentence. The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to study legal financial obligations in Washington State. WSIPP’s reports must explore the following:

  • Over the past three years, the amount of legal and financial obligations imposed; the total amounts outstanding and the total amounts collected annually, including annual collection rates; including all restitution, costs, fees, fines, penalty assessments, and interest, disaggregated;
  • Which statutes allow for the imposition of legal and financial obligations;
  • What percentage of a court’s budget has been supported by legal and financial obligations since the system’s inception;
  • The programs funded by legal financial obligations; and
  • How do other states fund their court system including, but not limited to, whether they use legal financial obligations to provide support;

A preliminary report is due to the legislature by December 1, 2021, with a final report due December 1, 2022.

Devin Bales, (360) 664-9808 View Legislation

Creating Prison to Postsecondary Education Pathways

The 2021 Legislature passed 2SHB 1044 expanding the types of postsecondary education programs eligible for state funding in the Department of Corrections’ (DOC) incarceration facilities. The bill directs WSIPP to study recidivism, enrollment, and completion rates of incarcerated persons in the postsecondary education system after release from incarceration. The study will use data from DOC, the Washington Student Achievement Council, and the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges. The study must include the following:

  • Patterns and effects on post-release enrollment and participation in the community and technical college sector by individuals who, while incarcerated, participated in postsecondary education;
  • Differential outcomes for individuals participating in different types of postsecondary education courses, certificates, and degree programs;
  • Changes in enrollment and completion of postsecondary education courses, certificate programs, and degree programs due to the expansion in postsecondary education programming; and
  • Recidivism outcomes other than incarceration for those individuals who participated in postsecondary education while incarcerated.

A preliminary report is due to the Legislature on October 1, 2024, and a final report is due October 1, 2027.

Lauren Knoth, (360) 664-9805 View Legislation

Validation of the Washington ONE Dynamic Risk Assessment

In 2021, WSIPP’s Board of Directors approved a contract with the Department of Corrections (DOC) to validate the DOC’s Washington ONE dynamic risk assessment instrument. The purpose of the study is to examine different components of the Washington ONE and to validate the predictive validity of the instrument for demographic subgroups. The study will assess the relative frequency of risk level classifications for the incarcerated populations, the distributions of actual risk scores, varying risk and need characteristics by risk group, and the probability of recidivism by risk level classification. The analyses will examine differences in the outcomes by gender and race as well as changes in risk level classifications for those who have completed multiple assessments. Finally, the report will include an overview of different classification methods for correctional risk assessment instruments.

A preliminary report is due to the Department of Corrections on October 31, 2021.

Lauren Knoth, (360) 664-9805

Evaluation of the Reentry Community Services Program

The 2021 Legislature passed E2SSB 5304 which modified the state’s Reentry Community Services (RCS) program. The bill includes an assignment for WSIPP to update its evaluation of the RCS program and to broaden its benefit-cost analysis to include impacts on the use of public services and other factors. In addition, the bill directs WSIPP to examine the potential cost, benefit, and risks involved in expanding or replicating the RCS program. Finally, the bill asks WSIPP to examine what modifications to the program are most likely to improve outcomes associated with program participation based on current knowledge about evidence-based, research-based, and promising programs. WSIPP will consult with the Reentry Services Work Group (administered by the Health Care Association) in 2022 to determine any additional research parameters for the final report.

A preliminary report is due to the Legislature on July 1, 2022, and a final report is due November 1, 2023.

Lauren Knoth, (360) 664-9805 View Legislation

Operation Net Nanny and Other Fictitious Victim Sting Operations

The 2021 Legislature directed WSIPP to examine Washington State’s Operation Net Nanny and similar fictitious victim sting operations. Operation Net Nanny is a collaborative undercover operation that includes local, state, and federal law enforcement targeting the arrest and prosecution of individuals involved in child abuse and exploitation using the Internet by using a fictitious victim. The study must include the following:

  • A description of the current research on fictitious victim sting operations, including evidence of their effectiveness in deterring or reducing crime, their costs, and potential advantages or drawbacks of their use in crime prevention; and
  • A comparison of the characteristics of individuals convicted as a result of Washington’s Operation Net Nanny stings with individuals convicted in Washington State of similar offenses who were not a part of Operation Net Nanny.

A final report was originally due to the Legislature by June 30, 2022. In June 2021, the WSIPP Board of Directors voted to shift the deadline to December 1, 2022.

Lauren Knoth, (360) 664-9805 View Legislation

Review of Research on Mandatory Arrest in Domestic Violence Cases

The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct a systematic review of the research literature on mandatory arrest in domestic violence cases. If possible, the study shall report the effects of mandatory arrest on domestic violence recidivism, general recidivism, domestic violence reporting, rates of domestic violence treatment, intimate partner homicide, or other reported outcomes. If possible, the study shall also report the research on alternatives to mandatory arrest.

The review will be distributed to the legislature by June 30, 2022.
Marna Miller, (360) 664-9086 View Legislation

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

Standardized Juvenile Court Assessment Tool Evaluation

The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to review the standardized juvenile court assessment tool to determine if the eligibility criteria for juvenile rehabilitation programs are appropriate and accurately assign youth to programs that meet their needs. This study will evaluate differences in program effectiveness based on scales and classifications of risk and need. The legislature directed WSIPP to work in collaboration with the juvenile block grant proviso committee.

The final report is due June 30, 2022.
Amani Rashid, (360) 664-9804 View Legislation

Analysis of the Adult Problem Gambling Prevalence Study

In 2021, WSIPP’s Board of Directors approved a contract with the Health Care Authority to analyze the results of the Adult Problem Gambling Prevalence Study. The analysis will include information on the beliefs and attitudes about gambling, the prevalence of problem gambling, and the types of gambling methods used. Results will also compare characteristics of adults who gamble and those who do not and provide information on availability and funding to treatment for problem gambling. Findings will be broken out by demographics, geography, and the presence of other disorders.

The project runs through April 2022.
Marna Miller, (360) 664-9086

Evaluation of the Guided Pathways Model

The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to evaluate the guided pathways model. Guided pathways is a community and technical college reform which aims to improve student experience and outcomes through changes to academic program structure, advising, instruction and progress monitoring.

WSIPP’s preliminary report will review the implementation of the guided pathways model in Washington and any available evidence of the effectiveness of the guided pathways model. If possible, this report will also evaluate the effect of the guided pathways model on early student outcomes including, but not limited to, student retention and persistence, college level English and math within the first year, graduation and transfer rates. The preliminary report is due in December 2023.

A final report will evaluate the effect of the guided pathways on longer-term student outcomes including, but not limited to, degree completion, time to degree, transfer to four-year institutions, employment, and earnings, to the extent possible. The final report is due in December 2029.

Chasya Hoagland, (360) 664-9084 View Legislation

The Effect of Integration on the Involuntary Treatment Systems for Substance Abuse and Mental Health

The 2016 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to evaluate the effect of the integration of the involuntary treatment systems for substance use disorders and mental health. WSIPP’s report must include whether the integrated system:
  • Increases efficiency of evaluation and treatment of persons involuntarily detained for substance use disorders;
  • Is cost-effective, including impacts on health care, housing, employment, and criminal justice costs;
  • Results in better outcomes for persons involuntarily detained;
  • Increases the effectiveness of the crisis response system statewide;
  • Impacts commitment based on mental disorders;
  • Is sufficiently resourced with enough involuntary treatment beds, less restrictive treatment options, and state funds to provide timely and appropriate treatment for all individuals interacting with the integrated involuntary treatment system; and
  • Diverted a significant number of individuals from the mental health involuntary treatment system whose risk results from substance abuse, including an estimate of the net savings from serving these clients into the appropriate substance abuse treatment system.
WSIPP's first preliminary report was published in December 2020, the second report was published in June 2021, and a final report is due June 30, 2023.
Devin Bales, (360) 664-9808 View Legislation

Substance Use and Nutrition

The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to review the literature and describe any relationship between early substance abuse and mental health disorders in young adults. The final report will also include any evidence on the relationship between nutrition and mental health disorders in young adults.

The legislature asked for a report on the research review and cost-benefit analyses by June 30, 2022. In June 2021, the WSIPP Board of Directors voted to extend this study deadline to December 1, 2022.
Marna Miller, (360) 664-9086 View Legislation

LAP Inventory: Effective Practices to Assist Struggling Students

The 2013 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to prepare an inventory of evidence- and research-based practices, strategies, and activities for school districts to use in the Learning Assistance Program (LAP).

The state program provides supplemental academic support to eligible K-12 students achieving below grade level or not on track to meet local or state graduation requirements. LAP funds may support programs in reading, writing, mathematics, and readiness, as well as programs to reduce disruptive behavior.

An initial report was released in July 2014. Updates were published in July 2015, July 2016, June 2018, and July 2020. The inventory will be updated every two years thereafter.
Julia Cramer, (360) 664-9073 View Legislation Presentation to House Education Committee, January 15, 2013 Presentation to Senate Ways & Means, January 20, 2014

Early Achievers Quality Rating and Improvement System

The 2015 Washington State Legislature required Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) providers and licensed child care providers who serve non-school aged children and receive state subsidies to participate in Early Achievers. Early Achievers is Washington State’s quality rating and improvement system for early childhood education and child care providers.

In the same bill, WSIPP was directed to examine the relationship between the Early Achievers quality ratings and outcomes for children who participate in state-subsidized early education and child care.

A preliminary report was released in December 2019. A second report was released in December 2020. A third report will be published in 2021, and a final report including a benefit-cost analysis of Early Achievers is due to the legislature by December 31, 2022.
Amani Rashid, (360) 664-9804 View Legislation

Evaluations of Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP)

Background
The 2013 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct an outcome evaluation and return on investment analysis of the state’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP). WSIPP produced two reports: one summarizing the national research literature on the long-term effectiveness of early childhood education programs of various types and a retrospective evaluation of the effectiveness of Washington’s ECEAP program through fifth grade for a sample of children born between 1999 and 2004. Many children in this initial study are expected to have graduated from high school by 2019. This offers the opportunity to examine additional long term outcomes of ECEAP.

The current project
WSIPP is producing three reports, which will update and expand our findings from the reports produced in January and December of 2014.

The 2019 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to update the previous ECEAP outcome evaluation and examine the long-term impacts on program participants, including high school graduation rates for up to two cohorts. The report is due by December 31, 2021. For information, contact Chasya Hoagland, 360-664-9084.

In addition to the above assignment, WSIPP’s Board of Directors also authorized WSIPP staff to update the meta-analysis of state and district early childhood education programs for low-income children provided nationwide. To the extent possible, it will also examine the effectiveness of other types of early education. The report was released in December 2019. For information, contact Chasya Hoagland, 360-664-9084.

The legislative assignment also directed WSIPP to examine several program features. To the extent that data are available, the report will evaluate the short-term effects of ECEAP and address full-day programming compared to part-day programming, educational credentials and demographic characteristics of program staff, and related topics. A final report is due to the legislature by December 31, 2021. For information, contact Julia Cramer, 360-664-9073.

View Legislation

Environmental Health Disparities Map

The 2021 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to conduct a technical review of the measures and methods used in the Washington State Department of Health’s environmental health disparities map, as outlined in E2SSB 5141. The review must, to the extent possible, address the following:

  • Identify how the measures used in the map compare to measures used in other similar tools that aim to identify communities that are disproportionately impacted as a result of environmental justice issues;
  • Compare characteristics such as the reliability, validity, and clinical importance of individual and composite measures included in the map and other similar tools; and
  • Compare methodologies used in the map to statistical methodologies used in other similar tools.

A report explaining the findings of this technical review is due to the legislature by November 1, 2022.

Devin Bales, (360) 664-9808 View Legislation