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Washington State Institute for Public Policy
January 2003
In 1999, the Washington Legislature passed, and Governor Locke signed into law, the Offender Accountability Act (OAA). The Act primarily affects how the Department of Corrections (DOC) provides community supervision to adults convicted of felony crimes. The OAA directs DOC to classify all felony offenders according to the risk they pose to re-offending in the future and the amount of harm they have caused society in the past. The OAA then directs DOC to allocate more of its community-based resources to the higher-risk offenders. The primary goal is to reduce the subsequent criminal behavior of these offenders when they are back in the community. In this report, we present the first information on how well DOC’s risk assessment tool—the Level of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R)—predicts actual recidivism. We also describe some of the technical statistical steps we are taking to ensure that the OAA’s outcomes can be reliably evaluated.
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