BILL REQ. #:  H-2272.1 


State of Washington58th Legislature2003 Regular Session

By House Committee on Criminal Justice & Corrections (originally sponsored by Representatives Kagi and Darneille)

READ FIRST TIME 03/05/03.   

     AN ACT Relating to ensuring that offender populations do not exceed prison capacity; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   (1) The Washington institute for public policy, in consultation with the sentencing guidelines commission, the caseload forecast council, and stakeholders, shall study the relationship between (a) prison overcrowding and (b) the current state criminal sentencing structure and sentencing ranges.
     (2) The institute shall determine whether any changes could be made to the current state sentencing structure and sentencing ranges to reduce prison overcrowding giving great weight to the primary purposes of the criminal justice system. For purposes of this act, the primary purposes of the criminal justice system are to:
     (a) Ensure that the punishment for a criminal offense is proportionate to the seriousness of the offense and the offender's criminal history;
     (b) Make frugal use of state and local government resources by concentrating resources on violent offenders and sex offenders who pose the greatest risk to our communities;
     (c) Promote respect for the law by providing punishment that is just;
     (d) Be commensurate with the punishment imposed on others committing similar offenses;
     (e) Protect the public;
     (f) Offer offenders an opportunity to improve themselves; and
     (g) Reduce the risk of reoffending by offenders in the community.
     (3) The institute shall report its findings to the governor and the appropriate standing committees of the legislature no later than January 1, 2004.
     (4) For purposes of this section, stakeholders include, but are not limited to:
     (a) The department of corrections;
     (b) The indeterminate sentence review board;
     (c) Victims' advocates;
     (d) Law enforcement;
     (e) Prosecutors;
     (f) Defense attorneys;
     (g) Local governments;
     (h) Judges; and
     (i) Groups or organizations interested in sentencing reform in Washington.

--- END ---