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Omnibus Reentry Bill

SB 5070, the state omnibus reentry bill to salvage lives and reduce recidivism for the benefit of offenders, their families, and our communities, is in the House awaiting floor action before tomorrow's cutoff deadline.Please urge your representatives to help bring this important bill to a vote, and to only support amendments that will mitigate unnecessarily harsh sanctions and make the provision of needed housing and other services more efficient.If you would like to see a copy of the bill, go to www.leg.wa.gov and click on bills. You will also find your representative's phone number and email address at this same web page.Thank you for assisting in this critical effort, which is a key criminal justice element in FCWPP's 2007 legislative program.Daniel Clark, Legislative Committee ChairFriends Committee on Washington Public Policy509-522-0399,TO CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS:Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 (toll free) during session, weekdays 8 AM to 8 PM, Saturdays 9 AM to 1 PM. The operators can tell you who your senator is…

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Senate Ways and Means Key to Corrections Ombudsman Bill, SB5295

Sen. Margarita Prentice from the 11th District (Renton), is chair of Senate Ways & Means, and is the key figure in the progress of the corrections ombudsman bill, SB 5295. To progress further, the bill must have a hearing and be reported out of Ways & Means by next Monday, March 5, which is the cutoff for bills with fiscal impact.    The ombudsman bill won't get a hearing unless Sen. Prentice and committee leadership decide to fund it.  It currently has a large price tag according to the fiscal note: $3.4 in the first biennium, then $2.7 million in future biennia for a staff of 14.  This can be reduced by use of volunteers and other potential resources, which weren't considered in the fiscal note but are authorized in the substitute bill reported out of the policy committee.   It is particularly important for anyone in the 11th district to contact Sen.…

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SB 5295, The Corrections Ombudsman Bill

We have been successful in obtaining a hearing on SB 5295, the corrections ombudsman bill, which will be heard this Friday, Feb. 9 at 8:00 a.m. by the Senate Human Services & Corrections Committee, which meets in senate hearing room 1.   We will have to make a very substantial showing to get this significant reform out of committee, so it is important to have as many organizations and individuals signing in as possible, with those who wish to testify prepared to do so, if time allows.    Please be sure that someone from any interested organizations you are a part of signs in in favor of this bill, or make arrangements to have someone else do so on your behalf.  If you also plan to testify, please let me know so we can try to coordinate our testimony.  I'll be driving over to Olympia on Wednesday, but can be reached there by…

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Urge Senate to Give Corrections Ombudsman Bill (SB 5295) a Hearing

Please call or email Sen. Jim Hargrove, chair of the Senate Human Services & Corrections Committee, to urge him to give SB 5295, the Corrections Ombudsman bill, a hearing.  Sen. Hargrove's district 24 covers Clallam, Grays Harbor, and Jefferson counties. Calls from people in those counties are particularly needed, but calls from throughout the state will also be helpful in moving this important bill forward.  Please advise others of this request as well.   The bill will implement one of the major recommendations of the national Commission on Safety and Abuse in America's Prisons' recent "Confronting Confinement" report http://www.prisoncommission.org/pdfs/Confronting_Confinement.pdf , which called for every state to create an independent oversight body for its prisons and jails to assure health and safety, rehabilitation, and successful reentry for releasing offenders.   The bill is endorsed by the Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy, the Lutheran Office on Public Policy, the Transition & Reentry Reform Coalition, the Social Action Commission…

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Support Bill to Create a Corrections Ombudsman

Sen. Jim Kastama (D-25th District) has filed a bill to establish acorrections ombudsman, which would fulfill one of FCWPP's major goals for this legislative session.Current co-sponsors include Sen. Dan Swecker (R-20th District), Sen.Karen Fraser (D-22nd District), Sen. Chris Marr (D-6th District), Sen.Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36th District), and Sen. Debbie Regala (D-27th District).  Please thank them.Other senators can sign on as co-sponsors by 2 pm today, Tuesday.It is very important to have as many sponsors as possible on this bill, toassure it will be given a hearing and serious consideration by thelegislature.   PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL YOUR SENATOR IMMEDIATELY AND ENCOURAGE THEM TO CONSIDER ADDING THEIR NAME AS A SPONSOR OF THIS BILL to assure access to an ombudsman for their constituents and others who have family members and friends in correctional facilities.  We would also appreciate receiving a copy or notice of any communications you send. SEE CONTACT INFO BELOW.The bill will also implement one of the major recommendations of thenational…

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