Prison Industries Bill / Committee to Review Offender Programs / Protect our National Guard from DU
There are three bills that require immediate action this week if they are going to survive
1. Prison Industries Bill
Contact House Rules Committee members and ask that HJR 4221 be pulled from the Rules Committee and sent to the House floor so that floor action can be taken before the cutoff, scheduled for February 14. Rules Committee members are:
Frank Chopp – Chair (360) 786-7920;
Richard DeBolt (360) 786-7896;
Mike Armstrong – (360) 786-7832;
Glenn Anderson (360) 786-7876;
Brian Blake (360) 786-7870;
Judy Clibborn (360) 786-7926;
Doug Ericksen (360) 786-7980;
Dennis Flannigan (360) 786-7930;
Bill Grant (360) 786-7828;
Zack Hudgins (360) 786-7828;
Sam Hunt (360) 786-7992;
Lynn Kessler (360) 786-7904;
John Lovick (360) 786-7892;
Joyce McDonald (360) 786-7948;
Dawn Morrell (360) 786-7968;
Sharon Tomiko Santos (360) 786-7944;
John Serben (360) 786-7922;
Jan Shabro (360) 786-7866;
Rodney Tom (360) 786-7848.
This is a bill to reinstate Class I prison industries, which were eliminated in 2004 on constitutional grounds. Class I Prison industries train inmates in employable job skills and provide the best paying inmate jobs.
Over 50 percent of the inmates confined in prisons were not gainfully employed when they committed their crime. Workers in these programs are better able to pay their restitution to their victims, compensate the victims fund, pay their sentencing financial obligations, and pay their DOC incarceration fees. Some even manage after this to send money to their spouses and children outside. In addition, they learn valuable job and work place skills that help them to succeed on release and not to reoffend and return to prison, saving the tax payers still more.
This bill would reinstate this successful prison program. It contains new language, introduced by our lobbyist, Roger Kluck, that would bar prison industries from unfairly competing with Washington businesses and engaging in slave labor with a captive workforce.
This measure already passed the senate last session, on a unanimous vote. The House Rules Committee has placed HJR 4221 on the list for second reading. If passed by both houses, the measure, which is an amendment to Washington’s state constitution, will be put on the ballot next November.
2. Help Create a Committee to Review Offender Programs
Contact Sen. Lisa Brown (Senate Majority Leader) and ask that SSB 6308 be pulled from the Rules Committee and sent to the Senate floor so that floor action can occur before the cutoff, scheduled for February 14, 2006. Please contact Sen. Brown at (360) 786-7604.
SSB 6308 can be a vehicle for positive and measurable change.
Contact information for members of the Senate Rules Committee can be found at
Additional information about the bill, together with the full text, can be found at
Studies show that three out of five offenders will re-offend after release and some federal studies suggest that this number is as high as two out of three. Programs that give offenders skills and support systems have proven successful in reducing recidivism. Crime victims also support programs that can put offenders back into community as productive members of society.
SSB 6308 will create a joint committee to review offender programs, sentencing, and supervision of the offenders upon reentry into the community, with the goal of increasing public safety, maximizing rehabilitation of the offenders, and lowering recidivism.
The committee must review and make recommendations regarding the type of offender that would most benefit from training and education; the type of education and training that would be most beneficial; changes to the sentencing law and policies that recognize “good time” served; changes to the supervision of offenders once released into the community; and methods for evaluating the effectiveness of these programs.
3. The bill to protect our National Guard from DU is still alive.
Please call both your Senate and House legislators and urge them to support the SB 6732, Supplemental Budget in the Senate Ways and Means committee. If Sen. Rosa Franklin is your senator, please thank her for her continuing support. Please ask friends or groups that you are in contact with across the state to do the same. We are making an impact.
To contact your own legislators, follow the links at http://www.access.wa.gov/government/state_legislature.aspx to the Senate or House, then follow the directions to find your legislators’ contact information. You may use http://apps.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/ to find out who your legislators are.
Senate Bill 6732 would require Washington National Guard members to be provided with the best available testing for depleted uranium exposure on their return from overseas duty. SB 6732 died in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, but has been resurrected as a Supplemental Budget item.
Information about the bill, including a link to its full text, may be found at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=6732&year=2006
Kris Stroad Moore
FCWPP Legislative Committee