By Michael Amato, Staffer for Congressman Adam Smith
Washington – Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09), who co-authored a pair of bills designed to address the deficiencies in the interstate compact system that governs the release and supervision of convicted felons across state lines, praised the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision for adopting changes that will enhance public safety.
In light of the Lakewood Police Officer Shootings last year, Smith and other local lawmakers have been pushing hard for these rule changes, which were proposed by the Washington State Department of Corrections. In addition to the legislation, Smith sent a letter earlier this year encouraging the commission to act on Washington State’s recommendations.
“The tragic shooting of four police officers in Lakewood last November clearly demonstrated the need to change how states interact in regard to out-of-state felons,” said Congressman Adam Smith. “Our local law enforcement agencies do a tremendous job keeping our communities safe, and we must do what we can to protect them and provide them with the information and tools they need to do their job. These rule changes help to do just that.”
The rule changes provide states that receive offenders more authority to send them back if they pose a significant risk to public safety. It also provides states with more complete criminal histories before agreeing to supervise offenders from other states. These rule changes will take effect on March 1, 2011.
“As a former prosecutor, I understand how access to information and resources can protect and greatly improve the effectiveness of our law enforcement officials,” continued Smith. “This rule change is good for public safely and it is good for our law enforcement officials.”