Criminal Justice Alert
Criminal justice bills originated by FCWPP and its Transition & Reentry Reform Coalition have moved to the floor of the legislature (SB 5339, SB 5611, HB 1359), and are expected to be scheduled for debate and vote between now and Wednesday. Please contact your legislators now and urge them to approve these bills!
HB 1359 in the state house of representatives and SB 5611 in the senate will reduce the interest rate on monetary obligations included in criminal judgments from the current 12% to 2% points over the T-bill rate, currently about 4.5%. This lessens the demoralizing burden of ex-offender debt, and makes more ex-offender resources available for critical housing, treatment, and family support needs.
SB 5339 allows a discharge of sentence and restoration of civil rights, including the right to vote, for offenders who have served all their time in prison and community custody (parole), and are doing all they can to pay their monetary obligations. This makes them eligible for future expungement of their records, helps reintegrate them into society, and facilitates employment, housing and other needed services Their monetary obligations continue to be enforceable by civil means. The companion house bill, HB 1358, is still in rules and may not be permitted out.
Please call, email, or fax your legislators to ask them to approve these bills, giving them the numbers of the bills for their house. Tell them they are critical for ex-offender success in the community—meaning less crime and fewer victims–and the reduction of prison and criminal justice costs.
Phone messages can be left for all your legislators in one call to the Legislative Hotline, 1-800-562-6000. Legislators can also be reached by e-mail. You can find your legislators’ e-mail addresses at:
Please send me an email to let me know of any communications you make on these issues, and send me a copy of any emails you send. Thanks.
FCWPP Criminal Justice Chair
To contact FCWPP Lobbyist Roger Kluck, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 206-856-4444. For information on FCWPP, and how to contribute, go to www.quaker.org/fcwpp.
Use http://dfind.leg.wa.gov/dfinder.cfm to identify your legislators. Contact information for your senators can then be found at http://www.leg.wa.gov/senate/members/default.htm , and for representatives is athttp://www.leg.wa.gov/house/default.htm.
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