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2023 LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

In light of the nationwide movement for social justice that reached a tipping point in 2020, the Washington State legislature introduced some of the most meaningful sentencing reform bills in the last 40 years. These sentencing reform bills have the potential to significantly reduce countless incarcerated individuals' sentences by years - and even decades in many cases. 


The bills listed below will be up for debate in the upcoming legislative session from January - Spring 2023. The passing of these bills would begin to dismantle institutional racism and disproportionate sentencing practices carried out on Black, Indigenous and POC individuals and communities by Washington State’s outdated criminal justice system. We are calling on your support to help get these bills passed!

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BILLS TO SUPPORT

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The Retroactive Elimination of Juvenile Points

HB
1324

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Emerging Adults Bill

HB
1325

HB
1324

Retroactive Elimination of Juvenile Points

CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION IN SUPPORTING THIS BILL

DESCRIPTION:

This bill would begin to undo some "tough on crime" legislation passed throughout the 1990s, that disproportionately targeted/impacted BIPOC youth who lived in communities that experienced high crime rates. Applied retroactively, it would automatically call for mass re-sentencing and sentence reduction for all prisoners whose juvenile adjudications were used against them as adults. The Washington State Department of Corrections already has technical infrastructure statewide to process mass re-sentencing due to the recently passed Blake vs State decision.

 

This bill gives Washington an opportunity to address mass incarceration, promote racial equity, and bring Washington in line with the most current understanding of adolescent brain science. It acknowledges recent research in adolescent brain science as a mitigating factor in adult sentencing. It eliminates juvenile adjudications from being used against individuals who are prosecuted for adult adjudications. This legislative change would align Washington’s current sentencing practices with Washington state’s existing criminal law. It would unauthorize the use of juvenile adjudications to be calculated as adult felony points and used as a determining factor on an adult sentencing grid.

 

For more information about this bill, see the Bill Summary here.

UPDATES + CALLS TO ACTION:

HB
1325

Emerging Adults Bill

DESCRIPTION:

​Children and young adults alike are being incarcerated at an alarming rate due to the Sentencing Reform Act in 1981, which did away with parole in the state of Washington. This change in policy has led to maximum sentence lengths for felony defendants sentenced to prison, putting people as young as 16 in for 20 plus year sentences.

The Emerging Adults bill will give people who were sentenced as youth a chance to shorten their sentences by participating in positive, productive activities while serving their sentence. These activities in combination with guidance and resources when released, (counseling, housing, job opportunities, etc.) will result in shorter sentences, save tax dollars, and will give incentive to incarcerated individuals under these drastic sentences to do schooling or work programs to enhance their chances at a successful reentry, shrinking the prison population dramatically.

This bill will give a chance to people who made mistakes in their youth, and received adult consequences, a chance to redeem themselves and their behaviors and gain more life to live outside of prison.

 

For more information on this bill, see the official Bill Summary here.

UPDATES + CALLS TO ACTION:

UPDATES ON PAST BILLS FROM 2022

HB1268: Sentencing Enhancements
(Previously HB 1169)


This bill would eliminate the requirement that a court must order multiple firearm or deadly weapons enhancements to be served consecutively and would leave it to the discretion of the court judge. 


2023 UPDATE: Retroactivity has been removed from this bill by its bill sponsor. Because LMNW and The Cultural Collective at Stafford Creek do not support bills that do not include retroactivity - we will not be advocating for and supporting the passing of this bill in 2023. That being said, if you are interested in learning more about the current status and language of this bill - you can see that information here.

While we cannot support the bill as is, we are encouraging everyone to take action on this bill by encouraging legislators to add retroactivity back into the bill. To take action on this bill, click here.

HB1282: Earned Release Time

We are sorry to report that this bill did not get picked up by a sponsor this year and therefore will not be brought to a vote this session. We will continue to follow this bill and advocate for its return in future sessions.

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