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National

WA: HB 1282 Will Allow All People Convicted of a Felony to Earn Up to 33% Off Their Sentence

[Washington Voices – wavoices.org – 2/7/21]

Dear Friends,

This Thursday, February 11, at 1:30 pm,  the House Committee on Public Safety will vote on HB 1282.  If this bill becomes law, all people convicted of a felony will have an opportunity to earn up to 33% off of their sentence.  Currently, people convicted of a sex offense can earn a maximum of 10% off their sentence.

Information about the bill and a video recording of the Feb. 2 committee hearing can be found at the HB 1282 website.  Many people testified at the hearing and all but the prosecuting attorneys and the police chiefs were in support of the bill.  Here are some of the many reasons people gave for their support:

  • The size of Washington’s prison population has nearly quadrupled over the last four decades.  According to a 2020 report from the ACLU, this increase in prison population is primarily due to long sentences.  Over 40% of all people in Washington’s prisons are serving sentences of ten or more years.
  • Long sentences do not enhance public safety.  Research shows that longer sentences actually decrease public safety since people incarcerated for longer periods have a more difficult time reintegrating into society than people incarcerated for shorter periods.
  • Crime victims favor shorter sentences.  A recent survey found that 61 percent of those who have experienced interpersonal violence favor shorter prison terms and enhanced spending on rehabilitation and prevention; only 25 percent preferred sentences that keep people in prison as long as possible.
  • People of color are convicted of violent and sex offenses disproportionately compared to white people.  These types of convictions get the longest sentences.  Many believe it’s time to correct our past mistakes.
  • The DOC testified in support of this bill.  They believe that if this bill becomes law, the increased incentives to earn time off will make the prisons safer.
  • Our state is facing a budget crisis.  If this bill becomes law, the state will be able to save on average $43,000 per year per individual who earns early release.

I encourage you to access the bill’s website and leave a comment by 1:30 pm Wednesday.  The committee will vote on Thursday and all comments must be posted at least 24 hours before the vote.  In addition, if any of the following committee members are representatives of your district, I encourage you to email them directly with your opinion of this bill.

Roger Goodman(45), Jesse Johnson (30), Gina Mosbrucker (14), Lauren Davis (32), Brad Klippert (8), John Lovick (44), Dan Griffey (35), Bill Ramos (5), Jenny Graham (6), Tina Orwall (33), Jesse Young (26), David Hackney (11), and Tarra Simmons (23).  The email address for representatives follows the format:  firstname.lastname@leg.wa.gov, for example roger.goodman@leg.wa.gov.

All the best,
Joanne

 

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Hate to be pessimistic, but I’m sure PFRs will be excluded by the time this bill gets to the governor’s desk.

That and we all know the REAL sentence is the registry. Doing “prison time” is just a formality to prepare you for what lies ahead.

Washington the registry is not bad at all. Only level 2 and 3 are public. You don’t pay to register and you don’t have annual registration, only when you move.

Washington just implemented good behavior early termination of probation and sex offenders were not excluded so there is plenty of hope on this bill actually.

It’s disheartening to hear that any given state’s registry is “not bad at all” merely because it may be slightly less onerous in some ways compared to other states. The same line of thinking was argued by Michigan, saying that registration was nothing at all like probation because it didn’t require drug testing (despite that the procedures mirrored each other in all other respects).

Lesser or alternate forms of the registry never live up to their expectations for anyone. They’re never restrictive enough for registry supporters, less burdensome for registry opponents, and make absolutely no difference in its purported “public safety” purpose (and never will, no matter what is done to it).

Case in point – ACSOL recently got the tiered registry it had been fighting for for years and has run into one problem after another regarding simple implementation. In several years, we’ll likely find that only a handful of people actually benefit in some small way from the new system while everyone else is still pushing the same boulder up hills made steeper by more amendments that surely will be coming.

If these bills are signed into law, that’s a step in the right direction and hopefully spreads like wildfire across the country. I’m tired of the government trying to be my dance partner with the same old moves.

Two thoughts with emphasis being mine here:

Long sentences do not enhance public safety. Research shows that longer sentences actually “DECREASE PUBLIC SAFETY” since people incarcerated for longer periods have a “MORE DIFFICULT TIME REINTEGRATING” into society than people incarcerated for shorter periods.

Crime victims favor shorter sentences. A recent survey found that 61 percent of those who have experienced interpersonal violence favor shorter prison terms and “ENHANCED SPENDING ON” rehabilitation and “PREVENTION”; only 25 percent preferred sentences that keep people in prison as long as possible.

Hmmm…sounds like the mantra spoken about the registry and what should really be done when it comes down to brass tacks on sex offense topics. It has gone from a topic now to an entire crime population. Interesting…

WA state by the way has a $3.3B budget deficit so they need to be looking at this with deep interest financially and socially. Let’s see if it can apply to those on McNeil Island and the facility there.

My best wishes for Washington State. Hope is passes and travel’s South to California and across the remaining 48 states.

Was watching CNN today the story about the 2 FBI agents that were killed in Florida came on the FBI agent stated people are so afraid of being placed on the registery because they know there lives are completely over alot of them kill themselves and in this case he killed 2 against befor he took his own life.

Good luck

Isn’t there a guy in Washington who is trying to get the names of level 1 and 2 made public? Today it might be better, but what does tomorrow bring. When a politician tastes what can be done to registrants it becomes an addiction. The registry needs to be abolished and not shined.

@Brandon

There was Donna Zink in Eastern WA that was doing the effort to get the names published https://www.tri-cityherald.com/news/local/article117320733.html and Mr. Hart in Kelso, WA that was doing it for Cowlitz county https://tdn.com/news/local/kelso-man-plans-to-publish-names-of-cowlitz-level-1-sex-offenders/article_06eafcf7-e599-5843-82a4-5996c67c8c47.html

I have a son that was sentenced to 20 years he has been 16 years and he has no good time I would love to see him i would like to see something to help with getting a release he was only a young man when he was convicted

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