SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Reported by Senate Committee On:
Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation, February 19, 2019
Title: An act relating to the release of juveniles in the custody of juvenile rehabilitation.
Brief Description: Concerning the release of juveniles in the custody of juvenile rehabilitation.
Sponsors: Senators Nguyen, Darneille, Wellman, Rolfes, Kuderer, Das, Cleveland, Hasegawa and Wilson, C..
Committee Activity: Human Services, Reentry & Rehabilitation: 2/12/19, 2/19/19 [DPS-WM].
SENATE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SERVICES, REENTRY & REHABILITATION
Majority Report: That Substitute Senate Bill No. 5700 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass and be referred to Committee on Ways & Means.
Signed by Senators Darneille, Chair; Nguyen, Vice Chair; Walsh, Ranking Member; Cleveland, O'Ban, Wilson, C. and Zeiger.
Staff: Kevin Black (786-7747)
Background: Juvenile Rehabilitation. JR is a division of the Department of Social and Health Services which is scheduled to transfer to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) on July 1, 2019. JR operates three juvenile institutions for adjudicated juveniles sentenced to serve more than 30 days of confinement. Echo Glen Children's Center in Snoqualmie serves younger male offenders and female offenders. Green Hill School in Chehalis serves older male offenders. Naselle Youth Camp in Naselle provides services to male offenders and offers a forestry work program.
Mandate to Discharge Unaccompanied Youth Into Safe and Stable Housing. SSB 6560, enacted in 2018, proclaims a Legislative goal to discharge all unaccompanied youth from a publicly-funded system of care into safe and stable housing by January 1, 2021, including but not limited to, youth in JR, the foster care system, and the behavioral health system. DCYF must issue a plan to accomplish this goal by December 31, 2019.
Department of Corrections Rental Vouchers. The Department of Corrections (DOC) has legal authority and funding to issue rental vouchers to offenders upon their early release date for a period of up to three months. Transitional support programming must be provided alongside the rental vouchers. DOC has implemented this authority by providing rental vouchers to offenders who are female or who will be under community custody supervision upon release.
Summary of Bill (First Substitute): JR must work with youth in custody to establish a safe release plan into safe and stable housing. If JR is unable to establish a safe release plan, it may provide rental vouchers for up to six months if rental assistance will result in a safe release plan.
For youth releasing without parole, JR may provide community navigation and access to services in conjunction with the rental vouchers. These services, including the rental vouchers, may be revoked at the discretion of DCYF.
EFFECT OF CHANGES MADE BY HUMAN SERVICES, REENTRY & REHABILITATION COMMITTEE (First Substitute):
Clarifies that the services to be provided in conjunction with rental vouchers are community navigation and access to services for youth releasing without parole.
Allows DCYF to revoke vouchers and services at its discretion.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony on Original Bill: The committee recommended a different version of the bill than what was heard. PRO: Many of the kids coming out of our juvenile justice system experience homelessness and housing insecurity. This bill supports their efforts to rehabilitate and reenter back into the system. The DOC has a similar program for adults allowing them to get similar services when they reenter the community.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Joe Nguyen, Prime Sponsor.
Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: No one.