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Six-Year Follow-Up of 135 Released Sex Offenders Recommended for Commitment Under Washington’s Sexually Violent Predator Law, Where No Petition Was Filed

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Cheryl Milloy - June 2007

Washington’s Sexually Violent Predator (SVP) statute permits the involuntary commitment of persons found by a jury to meet the statutory definition of a sexually violent predator. In a previous report, the Institute examined the recidivism of 89 released sex offenders referred by the Department of Corrections (DOC) as meeting the filing standards for civil commitment petitions, but for whom no petitions were filed.

This report extends the results of the previous study by adding 46 individuals who were referred by sources other than the DOC.

Report ID: 07-06-1101
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Washington's Offender Accountability Act: Department of Corrections' Static Risk Instrument

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Robert Barnoski, Elizabeth Drake - March 2007

The Offender Accountability Act (OAA) was enacted by the Washington State Legislature in 1999. The OAA requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to supervise felony offenders according to their risk for future offending.

In a 2003 report, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Institute) analyzed the validity of DOC’s risk for reoffense instrument, the Level of Service Inventory—Revised (LSI-R). As part of the analysis, the Institute suggested that the predictive accuracy of the LSI-R could be strengthened by including more static risk information about an offender’s prior record of convictions. DOC subsequently asked the Institute to develop a new static risk instrument based on offender demographics and criminal history.

This report describes our evaluation of the validity of the static risk instrument developed for DOC. In October 2008, we updated Appendix C of the report to include the intercepts or constants for the three static risk score calculations. These intercepts are added to the summed weighted item scores to produce the risk scores. These constants are +20, +15, and +10 respectively for the Felony, Property & Violent, and Violent Risk Scores.

Report ID: 07-03-1201
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Washington's Dangerous Mentally Ill Offender Law: Program Costs and Developments

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David Lovell, Jim Mayfield - March 2007

In 1999, legislation was passed to better identify and provide additional mental health treatment for mentally ill offenders who were released from prison, who pose a threat to public safety, and agree to participate in the program. A “Dangerous Mentally Ill Offender” (DMIO) is defined by the legislation as a person with a mental disorder who has been determined to be dangerous to self or others.

As part of its legislative mandate, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy has published a series of reports that evaluate the DMIO program. A 2005 report demonstrated that the DMIO program significantly reduced recidivism after 1 1/2 years, and the 2007 follow-up report found that reductions in recidivism were sustained at the 2 1/2 year mark. The benefit-cost analysis in that report indicated that the reductions in DMIO recidivism generated financial benefits to taxpayers that were more than program costs.

This report examines how DMIO program funds are being used, how services and billings are tracked, changes in mental health funding, interagency collaboration, and how these impact program viability.

Report ID: 07-03-1901
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Methamphetamine Crimes: Washington's Laws Compared With Neighboring States—Revised

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Mason Burley - January 2007

In recent years, the manufacture and production of methamphetamine in small homemade labs has declined significantly. Changes at both the state and federal level have restricted the supply and availability of pseudoephedrine, a major precursor in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Demand for methamphetamine, however, remains high. According to law enforcement officials, much of the methamphetamine available today is supplied by drug trafficking organizations from Mexico. As manufacturing of methamphetamine declines, trafficking and distribution is becoming a regional issue that states and the federal government must address cooperatively.

The 2006 Washington State Legislature asked the Institute to examine "criminal sentencing increases necessary under Washington law to reduce or remove any incentives methamphetamine traffickers and manufacturers may have to locate in Washington." This report looks at differences in sentencing laws for methamphetamine possession, manufacture, and distribution in Washington and neighboring states. The report provides opinions from experts in steps Washington may take to curb the availability and use of methamphetamine.

Report ID: 07-01-1901
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The Dangerous Mentally Ill Offender Program: Cost Effectiveness 2.5 Years After Participants' Prison Release

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Jim Mayfield - January 2007

Washington State's Dangerous Mentally Ill Offender (DMIO) program, enabled by the 1999 Legislature, identifies mentally ill prisoners who pose a threat to public safety and provides them services and treatment up to five years after their release from prison.

WSIPP and the Washington Institute for Mental Illness Research and Training were directed by the legislature to evaluate the program.

Report ID: 07-01-1902
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Washington's Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative: An Update on Recidivism Findings

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Elizabeth Drake - December 2006

The Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Institute) was directed by the Legislature to evaluate the impacts of DOSA. DOSA was originally enacted in 1995 as a sentencing alternative. When ordered by a court, a felony offender’s sentence time is reduced in exchange for completing chemical dependency treatment. Prior to 2005 legislation, DOSA was restricted to a “prison-based” treatment alternative. The 2005 changes created a “community-based” DOSA for offenders with non-prison sentences. Because only 30 offenders have received this community alternative to date, further implementation is necessary before an evaluation of the community-based DOSA can be completed. This report updates our 2005 study of the original “prison-based” DOSA, extending the follow-up from 24 to 36-months. In our earlier report, we found that recidivism rates were lower for drug offenders receiving DOSA, but not for property offenders. With a 36-month follow-up, our findings did not change. That is, prison-based DOSA significantly lowers recidivism rates for drug offenders, but has no statistically significant effect on recidivism rates of property offenders.

Report ID: 06-12-1901
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Washington State Criminal History Records Audit for Adult Felonies: Introducing the Study Series

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Elizabeth Drake - November 2006

In 2006, the Office of Financial Management contracted with the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to conduct an audit of the Washington State criminal history records systems for adult felonies. Databases included in the audit are from the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Department of Corrections, the Sentencing Guidelines Commission, and the Washington State Patrol. This report is the first of a series and describes the research design and databases to be included in the study. The final report of the series will be completed by April 2007.

Report ID: 06-11-1905
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Evidence-Based Public Policy Options to Reduce Future Prison Construction, Criminal Justice Costs, and Crime Rates

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Steve Aos, Marna Miller, Elizabeth Drake - October 2006

Under current long-term forecasts, Washington State faces the need to construct several new prisons in the next two decades. Since new prisons are costly, the 2005 Washington Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to project whether there are “evidence-based” options that can: a) reduce the future need for prison beds, b) save money for state and local taxpayers, and c) contribute to lower crime rates. This report describes our findings and discusses how we conducted the analysis. We review evidence-based adult corrections, juvenile corrections, and prevention options and analyze the effects of alternative portfolios of these investments.

Report ID: 06-10-1201
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Washington State Criminal Records Audit: Meeting 1, Review of Research Design

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Elizabeth Drake, Robert Barnoski, Laura Harmon - September 2006

The Institute was contracted by the Office of Financial Management to determine the completeness and accuracy of Washington State’s criminal history databases for adult felons. The following databases are included in the study: the Washington State Patrol, the Department of Corrections, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Sentencing Guidelines Commission. This presentation discusses the proposed research design for the study. The final report will be completed by April 2007.

Report ID: 06-09-1201
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Who Participates in the Prison Treatment Program?

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Robert Barnoski - June 2006

This report examines trends in Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP) participation as a first step in identifying a valid comparison group needed to evaluate the impact of SOTP on recidivism.

Report ID: 06-06-1204

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