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Can Drug Courts Save Money for Washington State Taxpayers?

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Steve Aos - January 1999

In the late 1980s, with the number of drug-related cases on the rise, several courts in the United States began to experiment with new ways to process defendants charged with drug-related offenses.  A key innovation was the “drug court.”  Due to the more intensive monitoring by the court, as well as the provision of drug treatment, drug courts are more expensive than regular court processing.  A typical program costs about $2,000 more per participant.  Are drug courts worth this extra cost?  Do participants commit fewer subsequent crimes and thereby reduce future costs to taxpayers and crime victims?  In short, what is the bottom line? 

Report ID: 99-01-1201
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Community Networks: Progress Toward Measuring Results

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Kay Knapp - January 1999

This review examined ten community networks to gauge their understanding of the outcome measurement approach and legislative expectations.  The interviews revealed substantial progress by the networks in defining and measuring results connected to community projects.  By legislative direction, the networks are expected to focus on prevention with respect to violence, especially youth violence.  Preventative efforts take time to show their effects; thus, the Legislature directed that an external evaluation of the networks and their programs occur after five years of network operation.  The Legislature assigned the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to conduct this evaluation. 

Report ID: 99-01-3201
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Sexual Predator Commitment Laws in the United States: 1998 Update

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Roxanne Lieb, Scott Matson - September 1998

As of 1998, twelve states had statutes authorizing the confinement and treatment of highly dangerous sex offenders following completion of their criminal sentence: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. This report describes sexual predator laws and compares several of their key provisions.

Report ID: 98-09-1101
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Sex Offenses in Washington State: 1998 Update

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Roxanne Lieb - August 1998

In 1990, the Washington State Legislature passed the Community Protection Act, a comprehensive set of laws that increased prison terms for sex offenders, established registration and notification laws, authorized funds for treatment of adult and juvenile sex offenders, and provided services for victims of sexual assault. The legislation directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to evaluate the effectiveness of these state-supported programs. The charts included in this report were selected from this research and cover a number of topics related to this research effort.

Report ID: 98-08-1101
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Community Notification as Viewed by Washington's Citizens

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Dretha Phillips - March 1998

The 1990 Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to evaluate the effectiveness of the Community Protection Act. As part of this evaluation, the Institute contracted with the Social and Economic Sciences Research Center at Washington State University to conduct telephone interviews with a sample of Washington State residents regarding the state's community notification law. The results of the survey indicated an overwhelming majority of respondents were familiar with the law and believed it was very important.

Report ID: 98-03-1101
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Sexually Violent Predators and Civil Commitment

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Donna Schram, Cheryl Milloy - February 1998

Washington State law provides for the civil commitment of extremely dangerous sex offenders. This study describes the 61 adult offenders who were referred for possible commitment as predators but for whom such petitions for civil commitment were not filed, during the first six years after the law's passage (July 1990 through June 1996). The subsequent criminal behavior of these 61 offenders was tracked in official records for the time period following their release from custody. During this period, more than one-half of the group were rearrested. The highest percentage of offenders were rearrested for nonsexual crimes.

Report ID: 98-02-1101
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Standards for Improving Research Effectiveness in Adult and Juvenile Justice

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Robert Barnoski - December 1997

The 1997 Washington State Legislature recognized the need to improve the analysis, evaluation, and forecasting of sentencing and treatment alternatives.  In order to measure the success of criminal justice programs in increasing public safety and reducing subsequent offenses by convicted persons, the Institute was directed to:  1) propose a common definition of recidivism, and 2) develop standards for measuring the effectiveness of programs funded by the Community Juvenile Accountability Act.  This report incorporates both assignments. 

Report ID: 97-12-1201
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Megan's Law: A Review of State and Federal Legislation

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Scott Matson, Roxanne Lieb - October 1997

In 1996, Congress amended the federal law that requires states to register sex offenders. These amendments, known as "Megan's Law," authorize the public release of information about registered sex offenders when necessary to protect public safety. This report analyzes the 47 states with Megan’s Laws. These state laws can be divided into three categories, organized principally by the degree of notification: 1) Broad community notification; 2) Notification to individuals and organizations at risk; or 3) Access to registration information. This report also discusses implementation issues, offender harassment, and legal challenges to these laws. A summary of notification programs in other countries is provided.

Report ID: 97-10-1101
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Findings From the Community Protection Research Project: A Chartbook, Sixth Edition

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Roxanne Lieb - May 1997

In 1990, the Washington State Legislature passed the Community Protection Act, a comprehensive set of laws that increased prison terms for sex offenders, established registration and notification laws, authorized funds for treatment of adult and juvenile sex offenders, and provided services for victims of sexual assault. The legislation directed the Institute to evaluate the effectiveness of these state-supported programs. This chartbook contains information selected from this research.

Report ID: 97-05-1101
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Washington's Sexually Violent Predator Law: Legislative History and Comparisons With Other States

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Roxanne Lieb - December 1996

In 1990, Washington State enacted a law authorizing civil commitment of individuals found to be “sexually violent predators” at the end of their criminal sentence. This civil commitment law was part of an omnibus bill, the 1990 Community Protection Act. In order to increase the state’s knowledge about effective strategies with sex offenders, the legislature directed the Institute to evaluate this law’s effectiveness. This publication updates information on the implementation and background of sexual predator laws.

Report ID: 96-12-1101
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