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Prison, Police, and Programs: Evidence-Based Options that Reduce Crime and Save Money

NCJ Number
Date Published
24 pages

This report, designed to help with Washington state budgets and policy legislation, updates the previous, 2012 report and extends the Washington State Institute for Public Policy’s list of public policies that reduce crime and are likely to have benefits that exceed costs.


In this November 2013 report, the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) provides a list of evidence-based policy options that reduce crime, with the idea that those policies will lead to better statewide outcomes coupled with a more efficient use of taxpayer dollars. The authors describe WSIPP’s general research approach and provide details on what is new in this report. The report contains recommendations on policy options that may give taxpayers a good return on their investment (“buys”), as well as those that apparently cannot (“sells”). The document presents a chart, in Exhibit 1, the evidence-based policies that have been shown to improve particular outcomes in the following topic areas: correctional interventions for adult offenders; prison; police (results are per-offender); correctional interventions for juvenile offenders; and prevention, which lists two programs for low-income families and early childhood education for low-income 3- and 4-year olds.

Date Published: January 1, 2013