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The 1998 Legislature directed this study of citizen review panels for child protection. The Legislature determined that it is "critically important to the basic nurture, health and safety of children that the state examine a state wide program relating to child abuse and neglect that includes citizen review panels" as required by federal law. This study addresses: 1) potential barriers to citizen review panels obtaining access to information necessary for them to meet their obligations, 2) current Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) committees relating to children, and 3) issues relating to the creation of review panels.
This report describes the results of an interim validation study. In collaboration with juvenile court professionals, the Institute developed a comprehensive risk assessment, the Washington State Juvenile Court Assessment (WSJCA), as specified in the 1997 Community Juvenile Accountability Act. For the courts to have confidence in the WSJCA, the risk level classification from the pre-screen needed to be validated for juvenile offenders in Washington State. Validating the pre-screen means determining how well it predicts recidivism rates for groups of youth. Adequately measuring recidivism requires selecting a representative cohort of youth rated on the assessment, and then waiting 2 1/2 years to measure their recidivism.
The 1997 session of the Washington State Legislature funded an evaluation of court-appointed special advocates/guardians ad litem (CASA/GALs). Volunteer CASA advocates operate in 22 of the state's 32 court jurisdictions, investigating and representing the dependent child's perspective in family court. This evaluation determines the effectiveness of the CASA/GAL program in improving outcomes for dependent children, and examines cost-effectiveness.
In 1997, the Washington Legislature passed legislation creating WorkFirst, Washington’s welfare reform program and directs the Department of Social and Health Services to “implement strategies that will cause the number of(welfare) cases in the program to decrease by at least fifteen percent during the 1997-99 biennium and by at least five percent in the subsequent biennium.” Washington’s welfare caseload has decreased by 20% since the enactment of WorkFirst, although some of this decrease is due to factors other than the change in state welfare policy. This report discusses the factors that lead to declines in the welfare caseload and describes the focus of the legislatively directed evaluation of WorkFirst. It is provided as a supplement to the JLARC's November 1998 report of the implementation of WorkFirst around the state.
As of 1998, twelve states had statutes authorizing the confinement and treatment of highly dangerous sex offenders following completion of their criminal sentence: Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, and Wisconsin. This report describes sexual predator laws and compares several of their key provisions.
The Department of Social and Health Services Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA) has undertaken several legislatively directed developments in its assessment procedures. The JRA contracted with the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to: 1) Examine the capability of the Initial Security Classification Assessment and Community Risk Assessment to predict recidivism, 2) Design an evaluation of the Washington State Sex Offender Screening Tool and the Sexually Aggressive and Vulnerable Youth Residential Screen, 3) Recommend a process for selecting the highest-risk youth for participation in Intensive Parole, including a risk assessment instrument for use while on Intensive Parole, and 4) Compare these assessments to national models, and seek a review by national experts.
The Community Public Health and Safety Networks were established as part of Washington State's Violence Prevention Act (Act). The legislation anticipated a strong outcomes orientation on the part of networks. The Institute found that initial contracts between networks and providers often included measures of activities instead of outcomes. This report looks at the obstacles networks face in moving toward an outcomes orientation rather than a measure of activities.
In 1990, the Washington State Legislature passed the Community Protection Act, a comprehensive set of laws that increased prison terms for sex offenders, established registration and notification laws, authorized funds for treatment of adult and juvenile sex offenders, and provided services for victims of sexual assault. The legislation directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to evaluate the effectiveness of these state-supported programs. The charts included in this report were selected from this research and cover a number of topics related to this research effort.
The Department of Community, Trade, and Economic Development (CTED) administers the Youth Violence Prevention and Intervention Program. Through a competitive process, the Office of Crime Victims Advocacy within CTED provides federal and state funding to community-based projects focused on preventing youth violence. This report summarizes findings from the 1997 evaluation of these projects. The evaluation concentrated on ten projects, those in their first and second year of funding.
This topic brief discusses the rate of reported child abuse and neglect cases in Washington State between 1991 and 1997. Information supplied by Washington's Child Protective Services (CPS) shows the rate of referrals and alleged victims of child abuse by various age categories.