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Work Release in the State of Washington, 1990-1993 (ICPSR 2021) RSS

Principal Investigator(s):

Summary:

Work release programs allow selected prisoners nearing the end of their terms to work in the community, returning to correctional facilities or community residential facilities in nonworking hours. This project was designed as both a randomized and quasi-experimental field study to assess the effectiveness of work release in the Seattle area. It evaluated the impact of work release sentencing on recidivism and on corrections costs by comparing a sample of inmates who participated in work release with a comparable sample of inmates who completed their sentences in prison. The study was designed to answer the following questions: (1) What are the background and offense characteristics of offenders assigned to work release in the Seattle area? (2) What types of services are received by offenders in work release? and (3) How does the community experience of work release participants compare to that of similar offenders discharged directly into the Seattle community without having gone through work release? For each offender, detailed information was collected on measures relating to work release participation and recidivism outcomes. Information was gathered from Department of Corrections institutional files, work release program records, computerized payment information for legal and financial obligations, and statewide criminal history records. For each offender, background and six- and twelve-month reviews were completed. Part 1, Background Data, supplies variables that cover inmate demographics, employment history, drug use, current offense, prior criminal history, and risk/needs items. Part 2, Drug Testing Data, lists the types of drugs tested for, types of drugs for which there were positive results, and sanctions for drug use. Part 3, Offender Status Data, provides information on inmates' supervision status and the types of programs they participated in. Part 4, Prison Data, includes the number of days spent at different institutions and prerelease centers, work assignment, and prison infractions. Part 5, Work Release Data, contains information on the number of days spent at different work release facilities and any time spent in jail or on escape status while in work release. Data in this file also cover contacts and services received during work release, including personal and phone contacts between the work release participant and community corrections officer at the job and other sites, monitoring checks (employment verification, criminal records checks), sessions in outpatient counseling (drug, alcohol, family, other), employment (number of attempted and completed job interviews, primary job classification, length of employment, wages, and reason left), drug testing (date and type of test, type of positives, sanction imposed), infractions during work release and their sanctions, and arrests and their sanctions. Part 6, Community Placement Data, provides variables on the number of days each month that the offender was on the street, in work release, in pretrial detention, or in other custody, while Part 7, Post-Release Data, focuses on the number of days each month that the offender was on the street, in pretrial detention, or in prison or jail after being released from the work release program. Variables in Part 8, Infractions Data, pertain to the number and types of infractions and associated sanctions. Part 9, Recidivism Data, provides information on each offense after discharge from the program, including the date of the offense, nature of arrest, disposition, and sentence.

Access Notes

  • These data are freely available.

Dataset(s)

DS0:  Study-Level Files
DS1:  Background Data - Download All Files (4.5 MB)
DS2:  Drug Testing Data - Download All Files (2.9 MB)
DS3:  Offender Status Data - Download All Files (2.7 MB)
DS4:  Prison Data - Download All Files (4.1 MB)
DS5:  Work Release Data - Download All Files (3.6 MB)
DS6:  Community Placement Data - Download All Files (3.2 MB)
DS7:  Post-Release Data - Download All Files (3 MB)
DS8:  Infractions Data - Download All Files (2.7 MB)
DS9:  Recidivism Data - Download All Files (2.7 MB)

Study Description

Citation

Turner, Susan, and Joan Petersilia. WORK RELEASE IN THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, 1990-1993. ICPSR version. Santa Monica, CA: RAND [producer], 1996. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2000. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR02021.v1

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)

Funding

This study was funded by:

  • United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (90-DD-CX-0056)

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:   correctional facilities, criminal histories, inmate programs, prerelease programs, prison inmates, program evaluation, recidivism, work release

Geographic Coverage:   United States, Washington

Time Period:  

  • 1990--1993

Date of Collection:  

  • 1990--1993

Unit of Observation:   Individuals.

Universe:   Offenders in the state of Washington eligible for work release between 1990 and 1993.

Data Types:   event/transaction data, and administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

(1) There are multiple records per individual in Part 2, representing drug tests, and in Parts 8-9, representing incidents. (2) The user guide, codebook, and data collection instruments are provided as Portable Document Format (PDF) files. The PDF file format was developed by Adobe Systems Incorporated and can be accessed using PDF reader software, such as the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Information on how to obtain a copy of the Acrobat Reader is provided through the ICPSR Website on the Internet.

Methodology

Study Purpose:   Work release programs allow selected prisoners nearing the end of their terms to work in the community, returning to correctional facilities or community residential facilities in nonworking hours. Such programs are designed to prepare inmates to return to the community in a relatively controlled environment, while learning how to work productively. The state of Washington has been committed to work release programs since 1967. The Washington program permits selected inmates to serve the final four to six months of their sentences in privately-run community residential facilities, where they are required to be employed, submit to drug testing, and abide by curfews and numerous program rules. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of work release in the Seattle area and to measure the impact that participating in work release had on offenders' subsequent criminality, general social adjustment, and prison sentence reductions. The study was designed to answer the following questions: (1) What are the background and offense characteristics of offenders assigned to work release in the Seattle area? (2) What types of services are received by offenders in work release? and (3) How does the community experience of work release participants compare to that of similar offenders discharged directly into the Seattle community without having gone through work release?

Study Design:   This project was designed as both a randomized and quasi-experimental field study to assess the effectiveness of work release in the Seattle area. It evaluated the impact of work release on recidivism and on corrections costs by comparing a sample of inmates who participated in work release with a comparable sample of inmates who completed their sentences in prison. Subjects were initially randomly assigned to control or experimental groups. However, a sharp decrease in the number of offenders applying for work release at the time the study was conducted meant that additional cases had to be assigned to each group in order to create sample sizes large enough to detect significant differences. For each offender, detailed information was collected on measures relating to work release participation and recidivism outcomes. Information was gathered from Department of Corrections institutional files, work release program records, computerized payment information for legal and financial obligations, and statewide criminal history records. For each offender, background and six- and twelve-month reviews were completed. At six months after study assignment, and again at twelve months after assignment, a series of forms based on an offender's status were filled out by parole staff for each study participant. Separate forms gathered information about prison, work release, community placement, post-discharge activities, and infractions. Recidivism information was obtained for each offender from state-level criminal history rap sheets.

Sample:   Random sampling.

Data Source:

Department of Corrections institutional files, work release program records, computerized payment information for legal and financial obligations, and statewide criminal history records

Description of Variables:   Part 1, Background Data, supplies variables that cover inmate demographics, employment history, drug use, current offense, prior criminal history, and risk/needs items. Part 2, Drug Testing Data, lists the types of drugs tested for, types of drugs for which there were positive results, and sanctions for drug use. Part 3, Offender Status Data, provides information on inmates' supervision status and the types of programs they participated in. Part 4, Prison Data, includes the number of days spent at different institutions and prerelease centers, work assignment, and prison infractions. Part 5, Work Release Data, contains information on the number of days spent at different work release facilities and any time spent in jail or on escape status while in work release. Data in this file also cover contacts and services received during work release, including personal and phone contacts between the work release participant and community corrections officer at the job and other sites, monitoring checks (employment verification, criminal records checks), sessions in outpatient counseling (drug, alcohol, family, other), employment (number of attempted and completed job interviews, primary job classification, length of employment, wages, and reason left), drug testing (date and type of test, type of positives, sanction imposed), infractions during work release and their sanctions, and arrests and their sanctions. Part 6, Community Placement Data, provides variables on the number of days each month that the offender was on the street, in work release, in pretrial detention, or in other custody, while Part 7, Post-Release Data, focuses on the number of days each month that the offender was on the street, in pretrial detention, or in prison or jail after being released from the work release program. Variables in Part 8, Infractions Data, pertain to the number and types of infractions and associated sanctions. Part 9, Recidivism Data, provides information on each offense after discharge from the program, including the date of the offense, nature of arrest, disposition, and sentence.

Response Rates:   Not applicable.

Presence of Common Scales:   None.

Extent of Processing:  ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Standardized missing values.
  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

Version(s)

Original ICPSR Release:  

Version History:

  • 2006-03-29 File QU2021.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2006-03-29 File CB2021.ALL.PDF was removed from any previous datasets and flagged as a study-level file, so that it will accompany all downloads.
  • 2005-11-04 On 2005-03-14 new files were added to one or more datasets. These files included additional setup files as well as one or more of the following: SAS program, SAS transport, SPSS portable, and Stata system files. The metadata record was revised 2005-11-04 to reflect these additions.

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