Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy

Alert:  BIG WEEK on Criminal Justice!

January 21, 2008

Friends--This week is an exciting one, with a chance for us to
make progress in criminal justice reform. If you can make some calls or
write some emails right away, this is an excellent time. Questions?
Don’t hesitate to call me at 206-276-9128 or email me at
[email protected]. And thank you!
—Carol Estes, FCWPP Legislative Advocate and Policy Analyst

SB 5295, Corrections Ombudsman. 
An ombudsman is an independent troubleshooter whose job it is to
address problems before they become lawsuits by working with both sides
to find solutions. This bill provides for independent oversight of the
Department of Corrections (DOC) by establishing the office of
corrections ombudsman. The corrections ombudsman can avoid costly
lawsuits and at the same time provide more humane conditions for

ASK the members of the Senate Human Services Committee to pass SB 5295
because it will resolve disputes without litigation, easily paying for
itself with money saved, while providing badly needed oversight to a
state department with total responsibility for the lives of 18,000

Senate Human Services and Corrections Committee members are: James
Hargrove - Chair (D), Debbie Regala (D), Val Stevens (R), Dale
Brandland (R), Mike Carrell (R), Chris Marr (D), Rosemary McAuliffe

COME TO THE HEARING in Olympia at 1:30 on Tuesday, January 22, if you
can.  You don’t need to testify unless you want to, but your presence
communicates to the legislators that people like you care about the

HB 2688, Restricts Out-of-State Transfer of Prison Inmates
This bill prohibits the out-of-state transfer of those inmates who have
an active relationship with their children. More than 1,200 Washington
inmates are currently housed out of state because of lack of space in
prisons here.  Since prisons out of state won’t accept our most
difficult inmates, an inmate who has worked hard to earn medium custody
is now often rewarded with a transfer out of state, away from everyone
he cares about—a disincentive in the extreme.
ASK members of the House Human Services Committee to pass HB 2688 as a
first step in addressing the impact of transfers on inmates and their
families, because undermining an inmates’ social support network
creates recidivism rather than reducing it, and because children with
an incarcerated parent are at much greater risk for incarceration
themselves.  But ask them to broaden the definition of family in the
bill beyond biological and adopted children.

COME TO THE HEARING in Olympia at 1:30 on Thursday, January 24, if you
can.  We are particularly eager to have a crowd at this hearing, so
your presence is very important.

House Human Services Committee members are Mary Lou Dickerson - Chair
(D), Mary Helen Roberts (D), John Ahern (R), Maureen Walsh (R), Barbara
Bailey (R), Jeannie Darneille (D), John McCoy (D), Al O'Brien (D).

For email addresses and phone numbers of legislators, go to Thanks so much for your help.


To contact your FCWPP Lobbyist, Carol Estes, email
[email protected].