Following is a press release from the Washington State Senate Republican Caucus.
The House Human Services Committee heard public testimony Monday night on Substitute Senate Bill 6244 and then passed it Tuesday morning. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, and passed the Senate unanimously on Feb. 15.
SSB 6244 would direct the state Department of Corrections to study the amount of space needed to confine offenders who violate community custody and make recommendations to the Legislature for future capacity.
“Last year, after my prison and supervision bill was signed into law, I began to look at Pierce County’s jails to see how much capacity they had,” Carrell said, “and I found that some jails were almost entirely populated by prisoners who had either violated their community custody or were serving a short sentence for a minor crime.
“Under my new bill, DOC would analyze the needed statewide capacity to sufficiently confine offenders who violate community supervision,” Carrell added. “In addition, DOC would make recommendations to the Legislature by November of this year for future capacity needs to help decrease its reliance on local jails.”
SSB 6244 would also require DOC to work within local land-use planning processes when locating new violator facilities.