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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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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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