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In 2015, a cross system of county leaders, courts, agencies and community members formed a Recidivism Reduction and Reentry Policy Work Team to provide King County with technical assistance, as well as program and policy advice and support, in the development of a robust continuum of practices and interventions designed to reduce criminal justice involvement among our community members. 

Eight strategic issues have been identified by this work team to be foundational to reducing criminal justice involvement by King County residents. These prioritized strategies are central to the continuing work of the Criminal Justice Strategy section of the King County Executive’s office and include:

  1. Ongoing program and practice reviews to assure King County services align with best practices and are implemented and maintained with fidelity
  2. The continuum of care for persons leaving jails must include stable and affordable housing
  3. The principles and practices of RISK-NEED-RESPONSIVITY are foundational to all criminal justice work
  4. All services are part of a comprehensive continuum of care and are subject to continuous quality improvement and measurement
  5. King County implements trauma-informed practices and programs throughout the criminal justice system
  6. Employment, housing, treatment and ongoing support are essential to reducing recidivism
  7. The principles of restorative justice are bedrock to community healing
  8. Continually measure and correct all practices

The work of reducing recidivism and enhancing reentry in King County is rooted in the application of evidence-based and fidelity-adherent criminal justice best practices.


To increase public safety while avoiding entry into and reducing recidivism when leaving the criminal justice system.



To develop and implement a countywide strategic plan of action that addresses the risks and needs of individuals caught within the revolving door of recidivism and disenfranchisement.  

  • Defined Recidivism for King County

    “Any offense committed by a person within 36 months in the community (after release from confinement) or the completion of a therapeutic court program, that results in a Washington State Court Legal Action. A court legal action includes a conviction, deferred sentence, deferred prosecution, deferred disposition or a diversion agreement as defined by Washington State statute for misdemeanors, gross misdemeanors and felonies.”

  • Established baseline recidivism rates
  • Determined and vetted the application of the Principles of Risk-Need-Responsivity
  • Procured an assessment tool to be used at jail and CCD intake and prior to admission to criminal justice interventions
  • Provided strategic input into the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention’s business plan
  • Conducted trauma-informed training among 31 local and state criminal justice partners resultant of the award of a federal training grant
  • Conducted a comprehensive review of Jail and Community Corrections Alternative Programs (CCAP)  through the lens of evidence-based and fidelity-adherent criminal justice practices
  • Partnered with the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention and the Behavioral Health and Reentry Division to develop strategies for retooling Community Corrections Alternative Programs
  • Mapped and inventoried criminal justice interventions in King County consistent with the GAINS Sequential Intercept Map
  • Received a Department of Labor Grant to implement a Work Force Development Job Service Center in the Regional Justice Center to include community-based job finding and sustaining support upon release
  • Finalize the baseline recidivism rate in King County by crime type; set targets and implement best practices for recidivism reductions
  • Establish a Job Service Center and community-based employment and education support services at the Regional Justice Center
  • Implement a modified therapeutic community substance abuse treatment program at the Regional Justice Center in 2017
  • Implement an actuarial needs assessment as part of the booking and release planning  processes in the King County Jails intended to identify participant needs and match them to the best interventions in jail and upon release
  • Retool of the Community Corrections Alternative Program to better align with best practices and meet the needs of the program participants. Participate in the CCD business planning
  • Develop  a Community Corrections based substance use disorder treatment program that may be used as part of the courts sentencing options
  • Continue the quality review and apply fidelity models to measure the delivery and effectiveness of interventions
  • Develop a reentry handbook for persons returning to the community from King County Jails
  • Work toward the development of a King County Reentry Service Center

For more information, please contact:

Patty Noble-Desy 

Recidivism Reduction and Reentry Senior Manager

Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget