S-2249.1  _______________________________________________


                    SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5919



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1997 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections (originally sponsored by Senators Roach, Winsley, Stevens, Zarelli, Wood, Schow and Oke)


Read first time 03/05/97.

Authorizing a study of the special sex offender sentencing alternative.

    AN ACT Relating to the special sex offender sentencing alternative; and creating new sections.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  The legislature finds that most child sexual abuse victims know or are related to their offenders and often express a wish that the offenders receive treatment.  The legislature further finds that a primary rationale for the enactment of the special sex offender sentencing alternative was that many victims, child victims in particular, might not cooperate with the prosecution if the only possible outcome was incarceration without treatment.

    Since enactment of the sentencing alternative, no systematic evaluation of the sentencing alternative's impact on victims has been conducted.  The legislature intends such an analysis be conducted to assist the legislature in determining the extent to which the sentencing alternative continues to serve the purposes for which it was enacted.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.  (1) The department of community, trade, and economic development shall contract with the Harborview medical center sexual assault center to conduct a study of the impact on victims of the special sex offender sentencing alternative from money appropriated by the legislature.  The study shall include a geographically diverse sample of at least two hundred victims whose offenders received the sentencing alternative at least four years prior to the commencement of the study.

    (2) The study shall include, at a minimum, an analysis of:

    (a) Victims' attitudes and perceptions about the sentencing alternative before sentencing and after their offenders' participation in the sentencing alternative;

    (b) If victims' attitudes and perceptions changed over time, the variables influencing the changes; and

    (c) The relationship, if any, between victims' attitudes and perceptions about the sentencing alternative and their current psychological and social functioning.

    (3) Not later than December 1, 1998, the center shall report to the legislature on the results of this study.  The report shall include a description of the methodology used to conduct the study, the findings and conclusions resulting from the analysis conducted in the study, and recommendations, if any, on ways to improve the sentencing alternative to better serve the purposes for which it was created.


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