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WSIPP's Benefit-Cost Tool for States: Examining Policy Options in Sentencing and Corrections

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The development and implementation of an analytical tool that helps states determine which evidence-based practices are most cost effective in preventing crime and lowering correctional costs. “The project’s overall goal is to use the best information available to identify sentencing and corrections policies that can help states protect public safety and control taxpayer costs. To accomplish this goal, we have constructed a benefit-cost “investment” model that estimates crime and fiscal outcomes of different combinations of public policies” (p. 1).

Sections of this report that follow a summary include:

  • background;
  • project element 1-development of the sentencing tool;
  • project element 2-application of the tool to Washington’s policy process;
  • and project element 3-software development and next steps.