The Costs and Benefits of Washington State's Replication of Proven Intervention Models for Juvenile Ofenders: 12 Month Results

Steve Aos, Washington State Inst. for Public Policy

ABSTRACT
This paper describes how, in the late 1990s, the State of Washington implemented "research proven" programs in Washington's juvenile courts. Early evaluation results of actual implementation are also presented. The legislatively-driven initiative involves four different programs, including Functional Family Therapy, MultiSystemic Therapy, and Aggression Replacement Training. The paper discusses the development of a cost-benefit model that was used initially to select the programs. The paper also presents recidivism outcomes at 12 months. Washington's effort is statewide and large in scale, with a substantial number of youth randomly assigned to intervention and control groups. Based on these early implementation results, the paper discusses how the cost-benefit model is used to assess the expected long-term value of costs and benefits of actual program outcomes, and how this information is being used by the legislature to improve the allocation of scarce juvenile justice resources.

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Updated 05/20/2006