This past legislative session we saw all sorts of legislation passed that was supposed to save money and keep us safe. Senate Bill 5891 successfully accomplishes the former but to the expense of the latter.
The part of ESSB 5891 I am referring to specifically is the part that eliminates confinement “tolling” for offenders under Department of Corrections supervision. In other words, their time on supervision does not stop or “toll” when they are in custody. That means offenders can be repeat violators and never have to report to their officer.
In effect, what this does is rewards those who are the most non-compliant and in jail the majority of their time on supervision. The worst part is, this bill is retroactive – meaning, some of the state’s most anti-social, sociopathic victimizers who have been in and out of jail for violation behavior since the time they were sentenced to community custody are now being released to the community with no oversight and no accountability.
With previous legislation, the Legislature and the DOC have been able to say their intent is to focus on the most high-risk offenders. This reasoning is invalid here. The offenders being released are exactly those high-risk offenders the department is supposed to be supervising. All to save a few bucks. The public needs to know.