wa-law.org > bill > 2023-24 > SB 5981 > Original Bill

SB 5981 - Concerning the indeterminate sentence review board.


Section 1

  1. In 2019, the legislature passed Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill No. 1646, sometimes referred to as "JR to 25," which extended the period of time that individuals convicted of offenses that occurred before the person turned 18 to remain in a juvenile rehabilitation facility from age 21 to age 25. The stated purpose of that extension was to reduce recidivism by providing additional time for individuals to receive rehabilitative programming provided by juvenile institutions.

  2. Recognizing the increased rehabilitative programming provided by JR to 25, the legislature intends to allow persons who committed crimes while under age 18 to petition the indeterminate sentence review board for early release after reaching age 24 or older.

Section 2

  1. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any person convicted of one or more crimes committed prior to the person's eighteenth birthday may petition the indeterminate sentence review board for early release after reaching the age of 24 or older, provided the person has not been convicted for any class A or B felony offense committed subsequent to the person's eighteenth birthday, the person has not committed a disqualifying serious infraction as defined by the department in the twelve months prior to filing the petition for early release, and the current sentence was not imposed under RCW 10.95.030 or 9.94A.507.

  2. No later than five years prior to the date the offender will be eligible to petition for release, the department shall conduct an assessment of the offender and identify programming and services that would be appropriate to prepare the offender for return to the community. To the extent possible, the department shall make programming available as identified by the assessment.

  3. No later than one hundred eighty days from receipt of the petition for early release, the department shall conduct, and the offender shall participate in, an examination of the person, incorporating methodologies that are recognized by experts in the prediction of dangerousness, and including a prediction of the probability that the person will engage in future criminal behavior if released on conditions to be set by the board. The board may consider a person's failure to participate in an evaluation under this subsection in determining whether to release the person. The board shall order the person released under such affirmative and other conditions as the board determines appropriate, unless the board determines by a preponderance of the evidence that, despite such conditions, it is more likely than not that the person will commit new criminal law violations if released. The board shall give public safety considerations the highest priority when making all discretionary decisions regarding the ability for release and conditions of release.

  4. In a hearing conducted under subsection (3) of this section, the board shall provide opportunities for victims and survivors of victims of any crimes for which the offender has been convicted to present statements as set forth in RCW 7.69.032. The procedures for victim and survivor of victim input shall be provided by rule. To facilitate victim and survivor of victim involvement, county prosecutor's offices shall ensure that any victim impact statements and known contact information for victims of record and survivors of victims are forwarded as part of the judgment and sentence.

  5. The department may provide rental vouchers to a person who successfully petitions the board under subsection (1) of this section if rental assistance will allow the petitioner to safely release. The department shall maintain a list of housing providers that meets the requirements of RCW 72.09.285. If more than two voucher recipients will be residing per dwelling unit, as defined in RCW 59.18.030, rental vouchers for those recipients may only be paid to a housing provider on the department's list. For each successful petitioner who is the recipient of a rental voucher, the department shall gather data as recommended by the Washington state institute for public policy in order to best demonstrate whether rental vouchers are effective in reducing recidivism.

  6. An offender released by the board is subject to the supervision of the department for a period of time to be determined by the board, up to the length of the court-imposed term of incarceration. The department shall monitor the offender's compliance with conditions of community custody imposed by the court or board and promptly report any violations to the board. Any violation of conditions of community custody established or modified by the board are subject to the provisions of RCW 9.95.425 through 9.95.440.

  7. An offender whose petition for release is denied may file a new petition for release five years from the date of denial or at an earlier date as may be set by the board.

  8. An offender released under the provisions of this section may be returned to the institution at the discretion of the board if the offender is found to have violated a condition of community custody. The offender is entitled to a hearing pursuant to RCW 9.95.435. If the board finds that the offender has committed a new violation, the board may return the offender to the institution for up to the remainder of the court-imposed term of incarceration. The offender may file a new petition for release five years from the date of return to the institution or at an earlier date as may be set by the board.

Section 3

This act applies retroactively to persons incarcerated on the effective date of this section, regardless of the date of the offense or conviction.

Section 4

This act does not create any right or entitlement to release from incarceration before the end of a term of incarceration imposed by the court.

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