HOUSE BILL REPORT
As Reported By House Committee on:
Title: An act relating to local law and justice planning.
Brief Description: Authorizing local law and justice councils.
Sponsor(s): Representatives Haugen, Ferguson, Cooper, Nealey, Appelwick, Wang, Horn, Prince and Scott.
Reported by House Committee on:
Local Government, February 12, 1991, DPS.
HOUSE COMMITTEE ON
Majority Report: That Substitute House Bill No. 1199 be substituted therefor, and the substitute bill do pass. Signed by 14 members: Representatives Haugen, Chair; Cooper, Vice Chair; Ferguson, Ranking Minority Member; Mitchell, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Bray; Edmondson; Franklin; Horn; Nealey; Rayburn; Roland; Wood; Wynne; and Zellinsky.
Staff: Bill Lynch (786-7092).
Community Corrections Boards
In 1987 the Legislature enacted legislation to allow counties, or a combination of counties, to establish community corrections boards. The purpose of this legislation is to encourage local governments and the State to form partnerships for sharing resources regarding the management of offenders.
A community corrections board consists of nine members: the county prosecutor, the county sheriff, a county superior court judge and district court judge, a member appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Corrections, and four members appointed by the county legislative authority - two of whom must be from the private sector.
Community Corrections Plans
A community corrections board is required to develop a community corrections plan for the county. The Department of Corrections may provide technical assistance in developing the plan upon request of the county.
The community corrections plan must describe the existing correctional resources, goals, objectives, needs, and problems for local and state correctional services in the county. Areas that must be addressed in the plan include: services for offenders, including employment, substance and alcohol abuse services, housing, and mental health services; ways to share administrative costs between state and local government; and the development of alternatives to confinement. The plan must also review ways to maximize resources and reduce duplication of services.
The Secretary of Corrections may enter into agreements with local governments for the operation of any correctional facility or program for persons convicted of felonies or misdemeanors, or for juvenile offenders. The agreement may provide for joint operation, or operation by either the Department of Corrections or the local government alone. Any such agreement must be included in the community corrections plan developed by a community corrections board.
The Secretary of Corrections is required to adopt rules for the submittal and review of all plans. Representatives from other state and local agencies and organizations must participate in the review process.
Summary of Substitute Bill:
Change in Community Corrections Boards
Community corrections boards are renamed as local law and justice councils. The county legislative authority determines the size and composition of the council, but it must include the following twelve members: the county prosecutor and a representative of the municipal prosecutors in the county; the county sheriff and a representative of the municipal police departments in the county; a representative of the county's superior, district, and municipal courts; a representative of the city legislative authorities within the county; the county jail administrator; the county clerk; the county risk manager; and the Secretary of Corrections. The officials may designate representatives.
Change in Community Corrections Plans
Community corrections plans are renamed local law and justice plans. The council is required to develop a local law and justice plan subject to final approval by the county legislative authority.
The plan must include a section on jail management. The elements that may be included within this section are: a description of existing and potential services to offenders; a description of potential alternatives to incarceration; a description of current jail conditions and resources; a description of the current jail population and how it is projected to change in the future; a description of projected future resource requirements; a proposed action plan to effectively manage the jail and the offender population; a list of proposed advisory jail standards and methods to carry out periodic quality assurance inspections of the jail; and a proposed plan to collect, synthesize, and disseminate technical information concerning local criminal justice activities, facilities, and procedures.
The county legislative authority must approve other elements of the plan proposed by the council before they are included into the plan.
The county may request technical assistance in developing or implementing the plan from the Department of Corrections, the Office of Financial Management, the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, and other units of state or local government.
The Secretary of Corrections is no longer required to adopt rules for the submittal and review of local plans. The Secretary may appoint an advisory committee of state and local officials to recommend policies and procedures to assist the department in providing technical assistance to local governments. The Secretary may contract with other state and local agencies and provide funding in order to provide the assistance requested by counties.
Substitute Bill Compared to Original Bill: A technical amendment is made to change the name of corrections boards and corrections plans to local law and justice councils and local law and justice plans.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Effective Date of Substitute Bill: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.
Testimony For: This will make it easier for local governments to do planning for criminal justice purposes. The expansion of the council will ensure representation of cities and judges. More counties will be encouraged to form these law and justice councils since the planning is coming from the local level. The bill creates a joint partnership between the local governments and the state Department of Corrections.
Testimony Against: None.
Witnesses: Bill Closner, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs; Dave Studevant, Clark County; Dave Savage and Karen Portin, Department of Corrections; and Jim Justin, Association of Washington Cities. (All testified in favor).