The Washington State Institute for Public Policy was formed in the early 1980s to conduct non-partisan research at the state legislature’s direction. Under the leadership of Steven Aos, the institute has provided some of the most careful and helpful research related to corrections in decades. Aos and his research team were first directed to review evidence-based policy strategies in juvenile justice and adult corrections in 1997. Much of the work this research team has conducted has laid the foundation for today’s healthy discussion of evidence-based practices and “what works” in corrections. In short, WSIPP sought to understand if programs could reduce crime and save taxpayers money.
WSIPP uses a straightforward approach in analyzing programs: assessment of what works and what does not; what makes economic sense; and the riskiness of the estimates. Based on what they report, the legislature has useful information about programs to fund or defund based on what works or not.
BI Incorporated has watched closely what WSIPP has reported over the years, including an updated report on evidence-based options (Return on Investment: Evidence-Based Options to Improve Statewide Outcomes) released last month.
BI and GEO Care Day Reporting Centers strive to include evidence-based practices and programs that reduce crime and save taxpayer money. The most recent WSIPP report reveals many of the BI and GEO Care practices used within its day reporting center programs produce outstanding monetary benefits. For example, in adult criminal justice, WSIPP found:
- Supervision with use of risk need and responsivity principles yields a $6.83 benefit for each dollar spent on these programs. Assessing offenders for their risk and needs using a number of tools, including the Level of Service Inventory-Revised, is a cornerstone at BI and GEO Care centers.
- Cognitive behavior therapy produces a benefit of $23.55 for each dollar spent delivering these programs. BI and GEO Care use Moral Reconation Therapy® in its centers, the most researched and established CBT program. By focusing on changing criminal behavior, tremendous benefits are achieved in reducing recidivism and future costs.
- Using sentencing alternatives and treatment of drug offenders yields a benefit of $14.51 for each dollar spent on these programs. Many offenders referred to BI and GEO Care day reporting centers have a history of chronic drug abuse and resistance to treatment. Through the delivery of cognitive behavioral therapy and substance abuse treatment, this resistance is reduced and change can occur.
- Using Motivational Interviewing for alcohol abuse yields a $45.38 benefit and using Motivational Interviewing for drug abuse counseling yields a $9.78 benefit for each dollar spent to administer these techniques. Motivational Interviewing practices run throughout BI and GEO Care day reporting programs.
- Even Life Skills programs yield outstanding benefits. Most offenders referred to a BI and GEO Care day reporting center receive Life Skills training; these programs yield a $37.52 benefit to cost ratio, according to WSIPP.
Based on the most recent findings of WSIPP, policy makers have useful information for funding programs that work in corrections. For more information about BI and GEO Care day reporting center programs, contact 1-800-701.5171.