Risk Management: Applying the Public Safety Philosophy to the Supervision of High Risk Offenders in Washington State

Shawn Kennicutt, WA Department of Corrections

The Washington State Offender Accountability Act (OAA) is the driving force behind the shift from a sentence-based classification system to a risk management classification scheme used by the Washington State Department of Corrections. The public safety philosophy in community corrections calls for the allocation or resources to offenders who may bring about the highest level of harm in the community. After a review of the offender population and the various measures used to identify high-risk offenders, this paper will analyze additional offender characteristics used to assist Department personnel in the identification of high-risk offenders. Next, this paper examines the various methods in which resources are being targeted toward those offenders. The paper closes with a discussion of the outcomes being evaluated concerning the risk management of offenders in the State of Washington.

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Updated 05/20/2006