Dear Supporter of Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy (FCWPP), This is a focused Action Alert concerning four bills in the state Legislature intended to help recover the lives of those enmeshed in the criminal justice system. If you live in legislative districts 4, 24, 27, 28, or 39, your State Senator serves on the Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee, which is handling all four of the bills supported by FCWPP that are listedbelow. All four bills have passed the House and now need to proceed in the Senate. These are bills for which Friends lobbied on Quaker Lobby Day. Please contact your state Senator and urge a favorably vote for all of these bills out of Committee, and support their passage in the Senate. Email addresses are all of the form: email@example.com (note no apostrophe and that Hargrove’s is firstname.lastname@example.org). Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee:
|O’Ban, Steve (R) Chair||INB 102||(360) 786-7654|
|Pearson, Kirk (R) Vice Chair||INB 115D||(360) 786-7676|
|Darneille, Jeannie (D)||JAC 227||(360) 786-7652|
|Hargrove, James (D)||LEG 411||(360) 786-7646|
|Padden, Mike (R)||INB 105||(360) 786-7606|
Thanks for all you do! FCWPP Legislative Committee
BACKGROUND AND TALKING POINTS
Support HB 1651: Youth Opportunity Act (passed the House 96 to 0; hearing scheduled in Senate Committee on 2/24) HB 1651 would keep juvenile criminal records confidential — rather than making them available for publication, distribution, or to be sold, as is the case now – except for sex offenses for which registration is required, serious violent offenses, and certain other serious crimes. Individuals who have a run in with law enforcement or the courts in their youth would not be forever compromised by public dissemination of documents related to that interaction. Making public the record of a juvenile offender:
- Creates ongoing difficulty for that person to get support for education, to get a job, and to get housing.
- Makes it her/him more likely to become dependent on programs supported by the rest of us in the state
- Makes her/him more likely to become involved in criminal activity as other options evaporate.
Instead of broadcasting juveniles’ interactions with law enforcement — regardless of whether charges are filed or an actual crime was committed — let us provide a second chance that both renews opportunity for young people and in the long run saves significant funds for all of us in Washington state. Please support the Youth Opportunity Act, HB 1651. More information: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=1651&year=2013. Support HB 2486: Post-Secondary Education for Prisoners (passed the House 59 to 37; hearing in Senate Committee needs to be scheduled) HB 2486 will reduce crime and save the state money by allowing the Department of Corrections (DOC) to fund postsecondary education for selected prisoners out of its existing budget: no new appropriation is requested or required. · A recent Rand study documents people who take advantage of education programs while in prison are 43% less likely to end up back in prison. · The Washington State Institute for Public Policy documents $19.62 is saved for every $1.00 spent on basic and postsecondary education (compared to $13.21 for each $1.00 spent on Vocational Education). · This bill eliminates the current prohibition against the use of state resources for higher education for people in prison by allowing the DOC to better target its existing education resources based on the research-based evidence described above. More information: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2486&year=2013 Support HB 2231: Clarifying Legal Financial Obligations for Homeless and Mentally Ill (passed the House 63 to 34; hearing in Senate Committee needs to be scheduled) HB 2231 prevents failure to pay a monthly sum towards a legal financial obligation from being considered “willful noncompliance” if the offender is homeless or mentally ill, and prohibits penalties for noncompliance in that circumstance. This changes the law so that people who cannot pay their LFOs because they are mentally ill or homeless will not be put in jail because of this fact. More information: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/documents/billdocs/2013-14/Pdf/Bill%20Reports/House/2231%20HBR%20PS%2014.pdf . Support HB 2164: Evidence-based Interventions for Juvenile Firearm Offenders. (passed the House 98 to 0; hearing scheduled in Senate Committee on 2/20) HB 2164 requires most juveniles in unlawful possession of a firearm to participate in certain evidence-based or research-based programs, unless no appropriate qualifying program is available. Provides that juveniles adjudicated of firearms crimes who meet eligibility requirements may participate in evidence-based parole programming. More Information: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2164&year=2013.