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Washington State's Aggression Replacement Training for Juvenile Court Youth: Outcome Evaluation

NCJ Number
Date Published
70 pages

This outcome evaluation report describes an examination of the effects of a program on recidivism outcomes for juvenile court youth: Section I provides information about the Washington State Aggression Replacement Training program, and prior evaluations of its impacts; Sections II and III describe the research methodology and the data used in the report; Section IV presents the authors’ general findings on recidivism; Section V summarizes how effects vary based on program participant characteristics; Section VI summarizes how effects vary based on program characteristics; and the final two sections discuss the evaluation limitations and conclusions.


This document reports on an outcome evaluation of the Washington State Aggression Replacement Training (WSART) program, conducted by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP), to evaluate recidivism outcomes for juvenile court youth. WSART is a group-based intervention for moderate- and high-risk youth with criminal charges filed in juvenile courts. The program uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to teach youth three core components: anger control, moral reasoning, and social skills. The authors evaluated the effects of WSART in Washington State courts from 2005 to 2016. They found that, on average, WSART participants were more likely to recidivate than similar youth who did not participate in the WSART program. The authors note that differences in recidivism for WSART versus non-WSART youth were evident in nearly all subpopulations of males, including White youth, Black youth, Hispanic youth, younger youth, high-risk youth, moderate-risk youth, youth assessed using the Back On Track risk (BOT) assessment, and youth assessed with the Positive Achievement Change Tool (PACT) assessment; however, results indicated that WSART participation did reduce recidivism for females. The authors also state that they found that youth who completed the entire WSART curriculum were significantly less likely to recidivate than youth who participated but did not complete the WSART program.

Date Published: January 1, 2019