BILL REQ. #: H-4688.1
|State of Washington||60th Legislature||2008 Regular Session|
Read first time 01/22/08. Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
AN ACT Relating to establishing standards for victim impact panels; amending RCW 46.61.5152; and adding a new section to chapter 10.01 RCW.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 A new section is added to chapter 10.01 RCW
to read as follows:
(1) The purposes and goals of victim impact panels are to:
(a) Help offenders understand the impact of their crimes on victims, their families and friends, and the community;
(b) Provide victims with a structured, positive outlet to share their personal experiences and to educate offenders, professionals in the justice system, and others about the physical, emotional, and financial consequences of crime; and
(c) Build a partnership among victim service providers and justice agencies that can raise the individual and community awareness of the short-term and long-term impacts of crime.
(2) To fulfill the goals of victim impact panels and to meet any probationary requirements or other sentencing conditions of a superior, district, or municipal court, each court administration or the equivalent shall develop and maintain a registry of qualified victim impact panels. To be listed among a superior, district, or municipal court's registry, the victim impact panel must meet the following minimum standards:
(a)(i) The victim impact panel must be offered by a nonprofit corporation, agency, entity, or other organization within the county that is not associated primarily with providing alcohol, chemical dependency, or domestic violence perpetrators' treatment to offenders;
(ii) If no such nonprofit corporation, agency, entity, or other organization is available in the county, the victim impact panel may be offered by a corporation, agency, entity, or other organization associated primarily with alcohol, chemical dependency, or domestic violence perpetrators' treatment provided that any fees or proceeds charged by the corporation, agency, entity, or other organization for the victim impact panel is donated to victims' services programs within that county, less the actual cost of facilitating the victim impact panel;
(b) The victim impact panel shall charge all persons required to attend a reasonable fee to attend and participate;
(c) The victim impact panel shall have a clearly stated mission or purpose of personalizing the impact and effects of driving under the influence or domestic violence, whichever is applicable, on victims and family members;
(d) The victim impact panel shall maintain attendance records for at least five years;
(e) The victim impact panel shall have a designated facilitator who is responsible for the enforcement of these minimum standards and who is responsible for maintaining appropriate records and communication with the referring courts and probationary departments regarding attendance or nonattendance;
(f) The victim impact panel shall have a "no admittance" policy for anyone under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or whose actions or behavior are otherwise inappropriate. The victim impact panel may institute additional admission requirements; and
(g) The victim impact panel shall have policies and procedures to recruit, screen, train, and provide feedback and ongoing support to the panelists. The panel shall take reasonable steps to verify the authenticity of each panelist's story.
Sec. 2 RCW 46.61.5152 and 2006 c 73 s 17 are each amended to read
In addition to penalties that may be imposed under RCW 46.61.5055, the court may require a person who is convicted of a nonfelony violation of RCW 46.61.502 or 46.61.504 or who enters a deferred prosecution program under RCW 10.05.020 based on a nonfelony violation of RCW 46.61.502 or 46.61.504, to attend an educational program focusing on the emotional, physical, and financial suffering of victims who were injured by persons convicted of driving while under the influence of intoxicants. The educational program must meet the minimum standards established in section 1 of this act.