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Washington State’s Involuntary Treatment Act establishes a process under which individuals may be committed by the courts for mental health evaluation and treatment. An involuntary treatment detention may be initiated if an individual is determined by a designated official to be gravely disabled or poses a danger to self or others as a result of a mental illness. The 2015 Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) to examine two aspects of Washington State's involuntary commitment process: the use of non-emergent petitions for initial detention and less restrictive alternative orders for outpatient treatment. Our findings are based on a review of available data and an online survey of legal and treatment professionals.
The 2013 Washington State Legislature directed WSIPP to develop a risk assessment for patients in the state’s involuntary mental health treatment system. In Washington State, formal risk assessments have been used to predict the risk of criminal recidivism among juvenile and adult offenders. This report finds that the existing Static Risk Assessment (SRA), used by courts and corrections in Washington for criminal populations, can also serve as a valid tool for determining the level of risk for adults with involuntary civil commitments and forensic competency evaluations. Results indicate that the adapted SRA described in this report has reasonable predictive accuracy for both the civil and forensic populations.
Coordination of Services (COS) is an educational program for low-risk juvenile offenders that provides information about services available in the community. The program is designed to help juvenile offenders avoid further involvement with the criminal justice system. COS currently serves about 600 youth per year in Washington State. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) first evaluated COS in 2004 following its first year of implementation. As part of ongoing work to identify research- and evidence-based programming in juvenile justice, WSIPP re-evaluated COS to determine its current impact on recidivism. Based on the results from both of WSIPP’s evaluations of COS, we estimate that the program reduces recidivism by about 3.5 percentage points (from 20% to 16.5%).
Initiative 502, passed by Washington voters in November 2012, legalized the limited adult possession and private consumption of cannabis, as well as its licensed production and sale. The initiative directs WSIPP to evaluate the impact of the law in a series of reports between 2015 and 2032.
It is too early in the history of I-502 to evaluate outcomes. This first required report describes the research plan for the overall study and presents preliminary data on the status of implementation of the law as of June 30, 2015. Ultimately, WSIPP’s evaluation will include a full descriptive study of implementation; an outcome study to identify causal effects of the law on a range of outcomes (e.g., substance use and abuse, health, criminal justice, traffic safety); and a benefit-cost analysis of the net economic impact of the law.
The 2014 Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to investigate state practices regarding different aspects of the involuntary commitment process. This paper discusses common questions related to civil commitments and includes detail on commitment laws in each state.
Washington State provides funding to school districts to help underachieving students through the Learning Assistance Program (LAP). The 2013 Washington State Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to prepare an inventory of evidence-based and research-based effective practices, activities, and programs for use by school districts in LAP and to update the inventory each two years thereafter. This report describes the second update to the inventory of evidence-based and research-based practices for use in LAP.
The 2012 Legislature passed E2SHB 2536 with the intention that “prevention and intervention services delivered to children and juveniles in the areas of mental health, child welfare, and juvenile justice be primarily evidence-based and research-based, and it is anticipated that such services will be provided in a manner that is culturally competent.” The bill directs the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) and the University of Washington Evidence-Based Practice Institute (UW) to publish descriptive definitions and prepare an inventory of evidence-based, research-based, and promising practices and services, and to periodically update the inventory as more practices are identified. This is the fifth update to the September 30, 2012 publication. The accompanying report describes the inventory update process, as well as the ongoing technical assistance process by UW.
WSIPP’s Board of Directors authorized WSIPP to work on a joint project with the MacArthur Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts to extend WSIPP’s benefit-cost analysis to certain health care topics. An important goal is to determine whether there are strategies that can help states control Medicaid and other health care costs. This report reviews evidence on five topics: “lifestyle” programs designed to prevent diabetes; behavioral interventions to reduce obesity; transitional care to prevent hospital readmissions; patient-centered medical homes to reduce health care costs; and programs to reduce avoidable emergency department visits.
For the last 20 years, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) has conducted systematic evidence reviews and economic analysis on a variety of topics for the Washington State Legislature. Over time, we have improved and refined the methods we use to conduct this research. When WSIPP undertakes an economic analysis at the direction of the legislature, we use a standardized set of procedures to collect and analyze research literature. We then apply consistent methods to translate the research findings to dollars and cents, asking, “What are the overall benefits and costs?” of each program or policy option. Finally, we use information about the uncertainty in the research findings and economic assumptions to compute the risk associated with each policy option. The primary goal of this research is to provide the legislature with objective information about the long-term economic consequences of each program or policy option reviewed. In this report, we summarize our current findings.
The Washington State Institute for Public Policy's (WSIPP) Board of Directors authorized WSIPP to work on a joint project with the MacArthur Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts to extend WSIPP’s benefit-cost analysis to certain health care topics. The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative identified diabetes prevention as an important health care issue for states. One important goal is to determine whether diabetes prevention policies can help states control Medicaid and other health care costs. We reviewed credible research studies from the United States and elsewhere to determine whether lifestyle programs can achieve these results. We find that, on average, the programs have significant effects on diabetes incidence, weight loss, and certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease.