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BIG WEEK on Criminal Justice!

Friends--This week is an exciting one, with a chance for us to make progress in criminal justice reform. If you can make some calls or write some emails right away, this is an excellent time. Questions? Don’t hesitate to call me at 206-276-9128 or email me at And thank you!   — written by Carol Estes, FCWPP Legislative Advocate and Policy Analyst  SB 5295, Corrections Ombudsman.  An ombudsman is an independent troubleshooter whose job it is to address problems before they become lawsuits by working with both sides to find solutions. This bill provides for independent oversight of the Department of Corrections (DOC) by establishing the office of corrections ombudsman. The corrections ombudsman can avoid costly lawsuits and at the same time provide more humane conditions for prisoners.   ACTION ITEM:	DEADLINE – TUESDAY, JAN. 22, NOON ASK the members of the Senate Human Services Committee to pass SB 5295 because it will resolve disputes without litigation, easily paying for itself with money saved, while providing badly needed oversight to a state department with total responsibility for the lives of 18,000 inmates.  Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee members are: James Hargrove - Chair (D), Debbie Regala (D), Val Stevens (R), Dale Brandland (R), Mike Carrell (R), Chris Marr (D), Rosemary McAuliffe (D).   COME TO THE HEARING in Olympia at 1:30 on Tuesday, January 22, if you can.  You don’t need to testify unless you want to, but your presence communicates to the legislators that people like you care about the issue.  HB 2688, Restricts Out-of-State Transfer of Prison Inmates This bill prohibits the out-of-state transfer of those inmates who have an active relationship with their children. More than 1,200 Washington inmates are currently housed out of state because of lack of space in prisons here.  Since prisons out of state won’t accept our most difficult inmates, an inmate who has worked hard to earn medium custody is now often rewarded with a transfer out of state, away from everyone he cares about—a disincentivein the extreme. 	 ACTION ITEM:	DEADLINE – THURSDAY, JAN. 24, NOON ASK members of the House Human Services Committee to pass HB 2688 as a first step in addressing the impact of transfers on inmates and their families, because undermining an inmates’ social support network creates recidivism rather than reducing it, and because children with an incarcerated parent are at much greater risk for incarceration themselves.  But ask them to broaden the definition of family in the bill beyond biological and adopted children.  COME TO THE HEARING in Olympia at 1:30 on Thursday, January 24, if you can.  We are particularly eager to have a crowd at this hearing, so your presence is very important.  House Human Services Committee members are Mary Lou Dickerson - Chair (D), Mary Helen Roberts (D), John Ahern (R), Maureen Walsh (R), Barbara Bailey (R), Jeannie Darneille (D), John McCoy (D), Al O'Brien (D).  For email addresses and phone numbers of legislators, go to Thanks so much for your help.  --------------------------------  To contact your FCWPP Lobbyist, Steven Aldrich, email 
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