CSG Justice CenterCSG Justice Center

Evidence-Based Public Policy Options to Reduce Future Prison Construction, Criminal Justice Costs, and Crime Rates

Under current long-term forecasts, Washington State faces the need to construct several new prisons in the next two decades. Since new prisons are costly, the 2005 Washington Legislature directed the Washington State Institute for Public Policy to project whether there are “evidence-based” options that can: a) reduce the future need for prison beds, b) save money for state and local taxpayers, and c) contribute to lower crime rates. This report describes our findings and discusses how we conducted the analysis. We review evidence-based adult corrections, juvenile corrections, and prevention options and analyze the effects of alternative portfolios of these investments.