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Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Improving Evaluations of Programs Offered by DOC

It is widely recognized that experimental research is the strongest design for testing causal relationships between variables. Despite the importance of experimental research in understanding the impact of incarceration and prison programming, its use in correctional settings is rare for both practical and ethical reasons.

A preliminary literature review identified few studies that have used experimental designs or natural experiments in partnership with the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC). Much more commonly, quasi-experimental research has been used to assess policies and program impacts. WSIPP will work with DOC to explore potential ways that WSIPP could collaborate with DOC to produce improved policy evaluations for corrections programs offered in Washington State.

A report will be published in the summer of 2025.
Colin Gibson, (360) 664-9085 View Legislation