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Recidivism Trends of Domestic Violence Offenders in Washington State

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Elizabeth Drake, Laura Harmon, Marna Miller - August 2013

Washington State Legislature passed a bill directing the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to 1) review the research literature on treatment for domestic violence offenders and other interventions effective at reducing recidivism; 2) survey states’ laws regarding domestic violence treatment for offenders; and 3) analyze recidivism rates of domestic violence offenders in Washington. Findings were published earlier this year on the first two tasks. In this report, we complete the legislative assignment and describe the recidivism rates of domestic violence offenders in Washington.

Report ID: 13-08-1201
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Special Commitment Center for Sexually Violent Predators: Potential Paths toward Less Restrictive Alternatives

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Roxanne Lieb, Amber Royster, Matt Lemon - January 2013

Washington State law provides for indefinite civil commitment of persons found to meet criteria as sexually violent predators (SVPs). The Special Commitment Center (SCC) on McNeil Island houses persons who are detained and/or committed as SVPs. The Institute was directed to study several aspects of SCC. Major findings include:

Releases: As of CY 2012, 86 residents have been released from SCC.

Treatment: 37% of residents actively participate in sex offense treatment.

Annual Reviews: A survey of legal practitioners revealed concerns about the timeliness of reviews, with mixed reports regarding the quality.

Senior Clinical Team: SCC’s group of senior clinicians and managers plays a key role in residents’ treatment progression and decision-making regarding readiness for a less restrictive alternative. Some practitioners in the legal community expressed confusion and/or concern about the team’s role.

Less Restrictive Alternatives: Confinement at the state’s Secure Community Transition facilities costs significantly more than confinement at the main facility.

The report includes a response from the Special Commitment Center.

Revised on 1/28/2013 to modify Exhibits 1 and 17.

Report ID: 13-01-1101r
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Standardizing Protocols for Treatment to Restore Competency to Stand Trial: Interventions and Clinically Appropriate Time Periods

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Patricia Zapf - January 2013

The Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Institute) was directed by the 2012 Legislature to “study and report to the legislature the benefit of standardizing treatment protocols used for restoring competency to stand trial in Washington, and during what clinically appropriate time period said treatment might be expected to be effective.”

To conduct this work, the Institute contracted with a national expert in the field, Dr. Patricia Zapf. This report provides background on the types of interventions (treatments) used throughout the United States for the restoration of competency to stand trial, and research regarding the timelines for restoration. In addition, data on length of stay at Eastern State Hospital and Western State Hospital for incompetent defendants remanded for competence restoration are summarized.

Report ID: 13-01-1901
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What Works to Reduce Recidivism by Domestic Violence Offenders?

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Marna Miller, Elizabeth Drake, Mia Nafziger - January 2013

The 2012 Legislature directed the Institute, in collaboration with the Washington State Gender and Justice Commission and experts on domestic violence, to update its analysis of the literature on domestic violence (DV) treatment. We were also directed to 1) report on other treatments and programs for DV offenders and the general offender population; 2) survey other states to study how misdemeanor and felony domestic violence cases are handled; and 3) report recidivism rates for DV offenders in Washington. This first report summarizes our findings regarding DV treatment and other programs and treatments.

Report ID: 13-01-1201
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Chemical Dependency Treatment for Offenders: A Review of the Evidence and Benefit-Cost Findings

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Elizabeth Drake - December 2012

The Washington State Institute for Public Policy was directed by the 2012 Legislature to review whether chemical dependency treatment in the adult and juvenile justice systems reduces crime and substance abuse. The Institute was also asked to estimate the monetary benefits and costs of these programs.

We conducted a systematic review of research studies to determine if, on average, these programs have been shown to reduce crime. To narrow our review of this vast literature, we focused on the type of chemical dependency programs funded by Washington taxpayers.

We located 55 unique studies with sufficient research rigor to include in our review. Programs for adult offenders have been evaluated more frequently than for juveniles. Of the 55 studies, 45 evaluated treatments delivered to adults while only 10 were for juveniles.

Our findings indicate a variety of chemical dependency treatments are effective at reducing crime. Recidivism is reduced by 4-9%. Some programs also have benefits that substantially exceed costs.

We found that community case management for adult substance abusers has a larger effect when coupled with “swift and certain.” This finding is consistent with an emerging trend in the criminal justice literature—that swiftness and certainty of punishment has a larger deterrent effect than the severity of punishment.

Report ID: 12-12-1201
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DSHS Special Commitment Center: Population Forecast, Revised

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Christopher Murray - November 2012

In 2010, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy was directed to study the commitment of sexually violent predators to the Special Commitment Center. The study assignment concentrated on two topics: a population forecast, as well as issues related to treatment participation and less restrictive alternatives.

This first report of two examines the projected future demand for the Special Commitment Center. The second report, which will be published by the end of December 2012, examines residents’ participation in treatment, the annual review process, and the capacity and future demand for less restrictive alternatives.

Report ID: 12-11-1102
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Confinement for Technical Violations of Community Supervision: Is There an Effect on Felony Recidivism?

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Elizabeth Drake, Steve Aos - July 2012

The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has jurisdiction over offenders when a superior court orders community supervision. While on supervision, offenders must adhere to conditions such as reporting regularly to their Community Corrections Officer (CCO). If conditions are violated, DOC may impose sanctions ranging from reprimands to confinement. Between fiscal years 2002 and 2008, approximately 72 percent of all offenders who had a violation received confinement as a sanction.

We investigate whether the use of confinement—as a sanction for a violation—has an impact on recidivism.

Report ID: 12-07-1201
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Return on Investment: Evidence-Based Options to Improve Statewide Outcomes
April 2012 Update

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Stephanie Lee, Steve Aos, Elizabeth Drake, Annie Pennucci, Marna Miller, Laurie Anderson - April 2012

The 2009 Washington Legislature directed the Institute to “calculate the return on investment to taxpayers from evidence-based prevention and intervention programs and policies.” The Legislature instructed the Institute to produce “a comprehensive list of programs and policies that improve . . . outcomes for children and adults in Washington and result in more cost-efficient use of public resources.” This report summarizes our findings as of April 2012. Readers can download the technical appendix for details about our methods.

Report ID: 12-04-1201
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"What Works" in Community Supervision: Interim Report

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Elizabeth Drake - December 2011

The Department of Corrections contracted with the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to examine effective community supervision practices of offenders. In this interim report, we provide background information on community supervision as it is delivered in Washington. We also summarize our findings to date on our systematic review of the literature regarding “what works” for community supervision.

Report ID: 11-12-1201
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Return on Investment: Evidence-Based Options to Improve Statewide Outcomes - July 2011 Update -

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Steve Aos, Stephanie Lee, Elizabeth Drake, Annie Pennucci, Tali Klima, Marna Miller, Laurie Anderson, Jim Mayfield, Mason Burley - July 2011

The 2009 Washington Legislature directed the Institute to “calculate the return on investment to taxpayers from evidence-based prevention and intervention programs and policies.” The Legislature instructed the Institute to produce “a comprehensive list of programs and policies that improve . . . outcomes for children and adults in Washington and result in more cost-efficient use of public resources.” The Legislature authorized the Institute to receive outside funding for this project; the MacArthur Foundation supported 80 percent of the work and the Legislature funded the other 20 percent. This main report summarizes our findings. Readers can download the two detailed technical appendices for in depth results and statistical methods.

Report ID: 11-07-1201
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