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Washington State Institute for Public Policy
December 2006
The Washington State Institute for Public Policy (Institute) was directed by the Legislature to evaluate the impacts of DOSA. DOSA was originally enacted in 1995 as a sentencing alternative. When ordered by a court, a felony offender’s sentence time is reduced in exchange for completing chemical dependency treatment. Prior to 2005 legislation, DOSA was restricted to a “prison-based” treatment alternative. The 2005 changes created a “community-based” DOSA for offenders with non-prison sentences. Because only 30 offenders have received this community alternative to date, further implementation is necessary before an evaluation of the community-based DOSA can be completed. This report updates our 2005 study of the original “prison-based” DOSA, extending the follow-up from 24 to 36-months. In our earlier report, we found that recidivism rates were lower for drug offenders receiving DOSA, but not for property offenders. With a 36-month follow-up, our findings did not change. That is, prison-based DOSA significantly lowers recidivism rates for drug offenders, but has no statistically significant effect on recidivism rates of property offenders.
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