Tag Archives: Legislators

Current Legislation in Olympia regarding Juveniles

Bill No. Description Thoughts
SHB 2746 Concerning mental health and chemical dependency treatment for juvenile offenders Adds residential treatment options for substance abuse and mental health issues to be considered “punishment” for a juvenile crime if a whole bunch of people including therapists agree that mental health or addiction is the root cause.

GOOD.

SB 6524 Addressing factors to be considered when sentencing youth in adult criminal court for crimes committed as minors Allows adult courts to consider mitigating factors that are not available for “adults” in adult court so that an “exceptional sentence below the standard range” may be applied if the judge so decides.

MOSTLY GOOD.

SHB 2906 Strengthening opportunities for the rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders

 

Note: This is nearly the same as SSB 6529. The main difference is it originates in the House.

Adds rehabilitation and reintegration as a purpose of juvenile detention to the Juvenile Justice Act of 1977.

 

Eliminates mandatory motor vehicle related fines

 

Gives prosecutors discretion regarding filing youth violence against family members as an official domestic violence complaint

 

Eliminates the requirement that courts notify DOL of juvenile offenses

 

Requires the court to defer disposition whenever they are eligible except in cases of animal cruelty.

GOOD.

SSB 6529 Strengthening opportunities for the rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders

 

Note: This is nearly the same as SHB 2906. The main difference is it originates in the Senate.

Requires the court to defer disposition whenever they are eligible except in cases of animal cruelty. If the juvenile makes the motion.

 

Gives prosecutors discretion regarding filing youth violence against family members as an official domestic violence complaint. Also eliminates mandatory arrest in youth DV situations.

 

Eliminates mandatory motor vehicle related fines

 

Eliminates the requirement that courts notify DOL of juvenile offenses

 

Adds rehabilitation and reintegration as a purpose of juvenile detention to the Juvenile Justice Act of 1977.

MOSTLY GOOD.

SB 6365 Establishing a lower age limit for discretionary decline hearings in juvenile court Establishes a minimum age for discretionary decline at 14 from non-existent. i.e. any age can currently be charged as an adult.

EXCELLENT.

SHB 1651: Youth Opportunities Act

We have been informed that SHB 1651 will be heard in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on General Government on Weds, Jan. 29, at 3:30. It is important that, between now and then, people contact the legislators who sit on this committee to explain how important this bill is, and emphasize any positive fiscal impact you think it will have (increased employment, decreased criminal justice involvement, fewer juvenile records sealing cases, etc.). Since this committee is primarily concerned with the budget, the bottom line is that this is the bill that unanimously passed the House last year, only with substantially reduced (or nonexistent) fiscal impact. This is due to the later effective date which allows the courts to put these changes into their new IT system without cost.

SHB 1651 will make youth records confidential. Under current law, youth records are sold to background check companies before they even have a chance to seal their record. It is essentially pointless to do the work to seal your record if it has already been sold electronically to the world. Additionally, it takes 2-5 years to seal your record during that vulnerable time youth are transitioning to adulthood. An open record during this time prevents youth from getting jobs that are sustainable. Making their records confidential allows youth to be what they are – children. And leave their mistakes behind them moving forward into a future with an even playing field. One in three youth of color are arrested. This is a huge opportunity to move into justice and mercy.

Here are the members of the committee, with their connection to the YOA last year. Contact as many as you can!

 Zack Hudgins (D) (Chair): zack.hudgins@leg.wa.gov (Voted for YOA last year)

Kevin Parker (R): kevin.parker@leg.wa.gov (Voted for YOA last year)

Vincent Buys (R): vincent.buys@leg.wa.gov (Voted for YOA last year)

Leonard Christian (R): leonard.christian@leg.wa.gov (New to the legislature)

Hans Dunshee (D): hans.dunshee@leg.wa.gov (Voted for YOA last year)

Sam Hunt (D): sam.hunt@leg.wa.gov (Sponsored bill)

Laurie Jinkins (D): laurie.jinkins@leg.wa.gov (Sponsored bill)

Larry Springer (D): larry.springer@leg.wa.gov (Voted for YOA last year)

David Taylor (R): david.taylor@leg.wa.gov (Voted for YOA last year)