Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) (Olympia, WA)
Results of a cost-benefit analysis of correctional industries programs are provided. Sections of this report are: research methods; research results; benefits and costs; and conclusion. "We find that correctional industries programs for adult offenders in prison can achieve a statistically significant reduction in recidivism rates, and that a reasonably priced program generates about $6.70 in benefits per dollar of cost (p. 2)."
The effect of work release facilities in Washington State on recidivism is assessed. This report is divided into three sections: evaluation of work release program; identification of facilities with the greatest effectiveness on recidivism; and examination of work release practices. While three of four studies show that work release reduces recidivism, more research is warranted for broader contemporary results.
Evidence-based and research-based programs to be used by adult corrections in Washington State are inventoried. Three parts comprise this report: definitions—evidence-based, research-based, and cost-beneficial; updated reviews using a three-step research process (evidence, benefits and costs, and risk), effective practices in community corrections, sex offender treatment, and conclusion; and the inventory. “WSIPP identified two programs—sex offender treatment and EPICS—that were not previously included in WSIPP’s evidence- and research-based results. Our updated findings on the two topics in this report allowed us to incorporate the results in the adult corrections inventory. The weight of the evidence indicates that sex offender treatment, delivered in confinement or in the community, is evidence-based and generates benefits that exceed costs. Our findings on EPICS [Effective Practices in Community Supervision], however, are not as clear cut. While we find supervision based on RNR principles is effective, the evidence on the particular approach—EPICS—is still undetermined until further research becomes available” (p. 5-6).
An overview is presented of findings (as of July 2011) regarding “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” (p. 1). Sections comprising this report are: summary; background; the four-step research approach that assesses what works, calculates costs and benefits and ranks options, measures the risks associated with the analysis, and estimates the impact of various option combinations on statewide outcomes. Also included are two Technical Appendixes that provide in-depth results.
Prevention and intervention services (mental health, child welfare, and juvenile justice) provided to children and juveniles are inventoried. These programs are primarily evidence-based and research-based and offered in a culturally competent way. "The definitions developed for evidence-based and research-based are high standards of rigor and represent programs that demonstrate effectiveness at achieving certain outcomes … To assemble the inventory, we operationalize each criterion for both the current law definitions for children as well as the suggested definitions of evidence-based and research-based … [In addition] the WSIPP benefit-cost model is used to determine whether a program meets the benefit-cost criterion by testing the probability that benefits exceed costs. Programs that do not achieve at least a 75% chance of a positive net present value do not meet the benefit-cost test" (p. 1). The Report explains any changes to the inventory since January 2014. The Inventory shows: budget area—child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, general prevention, and substance abuse; program/intervention; manual; current law definitions—evidence-based, research-based, promising practice; suggested definitions—evidence-based, research-based, and promising practice; cost-beneficial; reason practice does not meet suggested evidence-based criteria—benefit-cost, heterogeneity, mixed results, program cost, single evaluation, and weight of evidence; and percent minority.
If your agency is thinking of using the Duluth model you need to read this report. It explains why the Duluth model for domestic violence (DV) treatment does not reduce DV recidivism. Group treatment of DV offenders with the Duluth model and four other models (cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), relationship enhancement, substance abuse treatment, and group couples counseling) were evaluated. “Based on six rigorous outcome evaluations of group-based DV treatment for male offenders, we conclude that the Duluth model, the most common treatment approach, appears to have no effect on recidivism … There may be other group-based treatments for male DV offenders that effectively reduce DV recidivism … Unfortunately, these interventions are so varied in their approaches that we cannot identify a particular group-based treatment approach to replace the Duluth-like model required by Washington State law” (p. 12).
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.