Contact your state senator today to ask him or her to support SB 6344 to protect public safety by reducing criminal recidivism through increased education of people in prison.
SB 6344 BACKGROUND
- The Department of Corrections (DOC) has requested the legislature modify laws that prohibit state funding of postsecondary education for people in prison. Allowing the department to use part of its existing budget to fund higher education will increase public safety by reducing the number of people who commit crimes after they are released from prison. This will save the state money since fewer people will be returning to prison after release.
- Studies show people who participate in correctional education programs are 43% less likely to commit crimes and end up back in prison after release than people who do not. This means those who participate in education programs are more likelyto reintegrate and productively contribute to the communities they become part of after release.
- The return on Higher Education spending in prisons is almost 50 percent greater than the return on spending to support Vocational Training. The Washington State Institute for Public Policy documents $19.62 is saved for every $1.00 spent on basic and postsecondary. Only $13.21 is saved for each $1.00 spent on Vocational Education.
- Denying postsecondary education opportunities to those in prison hurts our state by denying those we incarcerate with opportunities they could use to correct problems that contributed to bad choices, which resulted in incarceration.
- No additional funding is required: SB 6344 allows DOC to fund postsecondary education out of its existing budget. It does not increase state expenditures.
How to contact the people who represent you in Olympia
- If you know your legislators’ names, send an email addressed to: email@example.com (Example: Rep. Frank Chopp’s address is Frank.Chopp@leg.wa.gov). You can also leave a phone message for your legislators using the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 (staff will identify your legislative district and find your legislators’ names).
- Alternately, you can determine your legislative district, find your legislators’ names, and draft an email by doing the following:
- Go to http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/ and input your home address
- Click and use the contact information that appears to draft your own email using the format in 1. above, or
- Click on your Representative’s name when it pops up over the map.
- A picture of your Rep will appear. Click on the word “E-mail” (at the bottom right corner of the picture).
- Complete the form that appears, cut and paste content from above, or use your own words. Then hit
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