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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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Post-Release Controls for Sex Offenders in the U.S. and UK

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Roxanne Lieb, Hazel Kemshall, Terry Thomas - June 2011

Published as:

Lieb, R., Kemshall, H., & Thomas, T. (2011). Post-release controls for sex offenders in the U.S. and UK. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 34, 226-232. doi: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2011.04.006

In recent years, both the United States and United Kingdom have developed numerous innovations in legal efforts to protect society from sex offenders. Each country has adopted special provisions for sex offenders. In particular, governments have focused on forms of social control after release from incarceration and probation. These policy innovations for this category of offenders have been more far reaching than those for any other offender population. The two jurisdictions have adopted policies with similar goals, but the selected strategies have important differences. Generally speaking, the U.S. has favored an ever-expanding set of policies that place sex offenders into broad categories, with few opportunities that distinguish the appropriate responses for individual offenders. The UK government observed the proliferation of Megan’s Laws in the U.S., and deliberately chose to establish carefully controlled releases of information, primarily relying on governmental agencies to work in multi-disciplinary groups and make case-specific decisions about individual offenders. Although the UK policy leaders expressed significant concern that the public’s response to knowing about identified sex offenders living in the community would result in vigilantism, to date the results have not born out this fear. Both governments have turned to other crime control measures such as polygraphy testing, electronic monitoring, and civil protection orders as a means to prevent further sexual violence.

Report ID: 11-06-1101
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Competency to Stand Trial and Conditional Release Evaluations: Current and Potential Role of Forensic Assessment Instruments

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Roxanne Lieb, Mason Burley - May 2011

In response to a 2010 legislative direction, the Institute and DSHS are investigating options regarding the use of mental health assessment tools for two DSHS reports to the courts:

- Competency to stand trial assessments of criminal defendants whose competency is in question, and

- The Secretary’s recommendations to the courts concerning the potential conditional release of criminally insane patients from inpatient treatment.

This document summarizes results of an October 2010 survey of state forensic evaluators concerning their use of assessment instruments. Thirty-one (of the 35) mental health experts who conduct forensic evaluations for the three state psychiatric hospitals (Western State, Eastern State, and Child Study and Treatment Center) responded to the online survey; this represents an 89 percent response rate.

We present three options for assessment strategies and instruments, with advantages and disadvantages of each option. A detailed comparison of instruments is included.

Report ID: 11-05-3401
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Washington State Recidivism Trends: Adult Offenders Released From Prison (1990 – 2006)

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Elizabeth Drake - January 2011

In this report, we examine recidivism rates for close to 70,000 adult offenders who released from prison in Washington State over a 17-year-period. Our analysis reveals quite notable and favorable recidivism trends.

Report ID: 11-01-1201
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WSIPP’s Benefit-Cost Tool for States: Examining Policy Options in Sentencing and Corrections

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Steve Aos, Elizabeth Drake - August 2010

Can knowledge about “what works” to reduce crime be used to help states achieve a win-win outcome of lower crime and lower taxpayer spending?

The Washington State Institute for Public Policy has constructed an analytical tool for the Washington legislature to help identify evidence-based sentencing and programming policy options to reduce crime and taxpayer criminal justice costs. With additional financial assistance from the MacArthur Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts contracted with WSIPP to: (1) develop the tool, (2) apply it to a policy process currently underway in Washington State, and (3) help Pew make the tool available to other interested states.

This report describes the tool (as of August 2010) in detail and illustrates its use by applying it to two hypothetical sentencing policy options in Washington State. The tool assesses benefits, costs, and risks. Results from the two hypothetical examples point to possible win-win policy combinations.

Report ID: 10-08-1201
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Fight Crime and Save Money: Development of an Investment Tool for States to Study Sentencing and Corrections Public Policy Options —Progress Report—

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Steve Aos, Elizabeth Drake - April 2010

Can knowledge about “what works” to reduce crime be used to help a state achieve a win-win outcome of: (1) lower crime, and (2) lower taxpayer spending? This progress report describes the work underway by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to develop an analytical tool for Washington, and perhaps other states, to identify evidence-based policy options to reduce crime rates and lower the taxpayer costs of the criminal justice system.

The Pew Charitable Trusts contracted with WSIPP to: (1) develop the tool, (2) apply it to the policy process currently underway in Washington State, and (3) help Pew make the tool available to other states.

This progress report describes the structure of the tool being constructed. The current plan calls for initial estimates by August 2010. In addition, the tool will be used to support the work of the legislatively directed study being conducted by the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines Commission.

Report ID: 10-04-1201
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