2E2SHB 2010

C 19 L 95 E1

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Revising corrections provisions.

Sponsors: House Committee on Appropriations (originally sponsored by Representatives Ballasiotes, Quall, Sherstad, Chandler, Schoesler, Radcliff and Blanton).

House Committee on Corrections

House Committee on Appropriations

Senate Committee on Human Services & Corrections

Senate Committee on Ways & Means

Background: The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) is required to promote public safety by providing facilities and services that control and redirect the behavior of adult felony offenders committed to its jurisdiction by the courts. The system provides programs designed to avoid idleness and promote the work ethic and individual self improvement. The Department of Corrections consists of five divisions: the Division of Prisons, the Division of Offender Programs, the Division of Institutional Industries, the Division of Community Services, and the Division of Management and Budget. Three separate functions are carried out in sections attached to the secretary's office: Employee Services, Public Affairs, and Legislative Affairs.

{+ Recreation +}: Every Department of Corrections institution provides a full range of recreational facilities, including gymnasiums, recreation yards, hobby shops, and day rooms for inside activities. Within those facilities, a variety of recreational activities occur that are designed to reduce inmate idleness. These include softball, volleyball, basketball, soccer, track activities, weight lifting, and physical fitness programs. Recreational leaders are responsible for organizing, monitoring, and supervising the recreational activities in the institutions.

{+ Extended Family Visitation +}: All prison inmates are allowed to have visits from members of their families, including overnight visitation with their spouses, except for those under penalty of death, housed in segregation or intensive management, or who are in some way restricted. The department defines which family members can participate in the program and establishes the terms and conditions for access to and use of the extended family visitation units.

During 1993 and 1994, approximately 2,477 inmates used the extended family visitation units.

{+ Cable and Closed-Circuit Television +}: All Department of Corrections facilities have or are planning to install satellite or cable systems. Generally, the department pays for the installation of the cable or satellite system and the inmates pay for maintenance and monthly programming fees. The cost for installing cable television access at Airway Heights Correctional Facility was approximately $100,000. All facilities allow inmates to have television in their cells and/or living units or both. Inmates pay for their own personal televisions. Some of the facilities are currently using, or are prepared to use, the cable systems for educational programming to defray costs of on-site educational classes.

{+ Offender Education: +} The Department of Corrections currently contracts with nine community colleges to provide educational services for offenders at 15 correctional facilities. Instruction is offered in adult basic education, life skills training, and vocational education. Funding for offender education programs is provided primarily by state legislative appropriation and is administered by the department. Some federal funds are also used for specific education programs. In fiscal year 1995, the total operating budget for offender education is $11, 789,688.05 in state dollars. Last year, the department awarded 578 general educational development certificates (GED), 41 high school diplomas, 325 adult basic education certificates, 700 locally approved vocational certificates, 229 state approved vocational certificates, 75 academic associated degrees, and 69 vocational associate degrees. Most inmates are assessed for level of reading during the first 30 days.

{+ Correctional Industries +}: The Department of Corrections Division of Correctional Industries operates five classes of work programs which provide jobs, training, and work experience for inmates.

Under current law, the department is responsible for establishing deductions to be made from the inmate's wages to contribute to the cost of incarceration and the development of the Correctional Industries program. The following are the wages and deductions for inmates working in Correctional Industries.

Class I - Private sector businesses operated in DOC. $4.50 to comparable wage.


5% Crime victims compensation

10% Inmate savings account (non-lifers only)

20% Cost of incarceration

Class II - DOC industries (license plates, furniture, milk) $.30 to $.90 per hour.


5% Crime victims compensation

10% Inmate savings account (non-lifers only)

15% Cost of incarceration

Class III - DOC maintenance of prison $30 to $50 per month.


5% Crime victims compensation

Class IV - Services to state agencies and local government. $.25 to $4.25 per hour.


5% Cost of incarceration

The business operations and ties with private sector partners are managed by Correctional Industries staff and the overall direction is established by the Correctional Industries board of directors. The Correctional Industries board of directors is comprised of both business and labor interests. The board has the authority to set policy, provide overall guidance, and to manage and review the performance of the organizations.

{+ Department of Corrections Health Care +}: One of the most significantly rising costs in the prison system is inmate health care. Since 1986, the health care expenditures for inmates in prison have almost tripled. The expenditures have risen from $10.97 million in 1986 to $33.3 million in 1994. This represents an increase of 86 percent in the average annual expenditure per offender for health care. These costs are expected to continue to rise as medical costs inflate, the prison population grows, and an increasing number of inmates become older and need additional health and long-term care.

Currently, the Department of Corrections' policy is to "provide, at a minimum, a degree of care which is designed to reasonably respond to an inmate's serious medical and dental needs." Class action litigation has helped shape this policy and the health care services that the state is required to provide under it. The department is required to pay for all the health care needs of inmates attended to under this policy. Health care provided by the Department of Corrections can be grouped into four broad types of care as follows:

Medical care to meet inmates' serious medical needs

Basic dental care

Mental health treatment and counseling

Drug and alcohol rehabilitation

Medical co-payments have been found to reduce health care expenditures by discouraging over utilization and inappropriate use of health care services and are an important part of health care reform. Currently, inmates who receive health care in state prisons are not required to pay in part or in full for their health care. The inmates are also not required to pay co-payments for each medical visit.

{+ Operating Costs +}: In 1994, the legislative budget committee conducted a report on the Department of Corrections (Report 94-1). The report noted that custody staffing, medical services, and administration are significantly different in Washington than in other states, and as such, deserve further review.



{+ Policies +}. The department must establish policies on work and education programs, including a requirement that inmates work or participate in education, or both.

{+ Assessment +}. With limited exceptions, the department is directed to assess an inmate's educational level and skills within 30 days of the inmate's commitment to the department. The department is required to use professionally accepted tests for reading, math, and language skills to measure grade level equivalencies.

{+ Exemptions +} - The requirement for inmates to participate in work and education programs to receive good time and qualify for use of privileges does not apply to inmates with physical or mental impairments, inmates in segregation, inmates in protective custody, inmates on death row, inmates in sex offender treatment or mental health treatment, or inmates in illegal alien offender camps.

{+ Prioritization/Placement Criteria +} - All inmates with skills below 8th grade basic skills level must be placed in a combined work and education program. Inmates are placed in appropriate programs based on placement criteria: release date; custody level, education and work skills assessment; economic circumstances, prior performance.

{+ Financial Responsibility +} - Inmates are required to pay on a sliding scale, based on ability to pay, for the following: (1) AA or BA programs when placed by DOC and (2) second and subsequent vocational programs associated with work programs. Inmates must pay full costs or tuition for the following: post-secondary academic degree programs when not placed in the program by DOC; second and subsequent vocational programs when not associated with work programs. Participation in educations programs is on a space available basis only.

{+ Funding and Prioritization of Resources +} - The department is required to prioritize resources for education in the following order: (1) basic academic skills through high school or GED and vocational training; (2) additional work and education programs based on assessment and placement criteria; (3) other work and education programs not related to assessment and placement criteria.

{+ Miscellaneous Education and Work Issues +} - After review of all education and vocational programs, the department must take the necessary steps to ensure all programs are relevant to work programs and skills necessary for employability. The department must adopt a plan to reduce the per-pupil cost of instruction by increasing volunteers and implementing technological efficiencies such as distance learning. The department is required to coordinate education/work programs to facilitate continuity of programming among inmates who are transferred.


The department is mandated to develop and implement a system, in rule, that links an inmate's participation in education and\or work programs with an inmate's access to privileges. All inmates are required to pay for both the capital and operating costs of privileges. The department is required to develop the operating standards in rule for the amount and type of payments for privileges.


The department is required to establish a uniform policy on the privilege of extended family visitation. In this policy, DOC must give 60 days notice to the Legislature of intent to change policy and is required to seek the advice of the joint legislative committee prior to making any changes. DOC must give 30 days notice to the Legislature of any public hearing on adoption, revision, or repeal of any rules relating to extended family visitation, except in emergency.


The department must adopt a rule establishing a uniform policy on contraband. Contraband is defined as objects or communication that the department determines should not be possessed, received, or sent by prison inmates.

The rule is to provide maximum protection to legitimate penological interests, including security and deterrence of criminal behavior, while protecting inmate's free speech rights. The department is to confiscate contraband consistent with constitutional restraints. The department is to consult with the attorney general and the newly- created joint legislative oversight committee in developing the rule.


Inmates applying to the court to have their name changed are required to notify the department in advance. The court is prohibited from issuing the name change order if doing so would interfere with legitimate penological goals. Exceptions can be made for religious reasons, cultural reasons, or in recognition of marriage or divorce. The department may require the offender to continue using his or her committed name during all interactions with department personnel. Violation of the notice requirement is a misdemeanor.


All money received by an inmate from outside prison is subject to the same mandatory deductions as Class I industry wages. This includes:

5 percent Crime victims compensation

10 percent Inmate savings account (non-lifers only)

20 percent Cost of incarceration


All inmates must receive a health assessment upon entry to the prison system. Inmates are required to pay a $3 co- payment for health care services that are inmate-initiated and non-emergency. There is no requirement to pay if the visit is initiated by prison staff or if there is a serious health care need. Indigent inmates are allowed to obtain health care services without cost. The department is required to report annually to the Legislature on several aspects of the co-payment program. The department is required to adopt a uniform policy relating to the distribution and replenishment of personal hygiene goods. Inmates are required to pay for the personal hygiene goods. Unpaid co-payments and payments for personal hygiene items are assessed as a debt to the offender.


The department is required to charge all inmates for services and supplies and recoup assessment for essential services or supplies provided to indigent inmates. No inmate will be denied constitutionally required services or supplies based on inability to pay.


Eligibility is expanded by removing the upper age limit of 28 years, and by lowering the minimum eligible sentence from 22 months to 20 months. Certain drug dealers can be eligible after a special review of their circumstances. The department may identify offenders who are eligible for the work ethic camp. With the concurrence from the sentencing judge, the department can refer the offender to the work ethic camp and adjust the time served.


By January 1977, the department is authorized to establish a camp for alien offenders to be located at an existing facility. The department must develop an implementation plan by December 1995 to meet the following goals: (1) expedited deportation; (2) reduced daily costs of incarceration; (3) enhanced public benefit through work programs and exemption from education programs; (4) minimal access to privileges; (5) maximized use of non-state resources; (6) recommendations for state law and fiscal issues necessary for implementation.

The plan must address: (1) eligibility criteria for prompt admission; (2) minimum/maximum length of the camp; (3) operational elements; (4) mitigation of adverse impact on other offender programs; (5) meeting the goals of the camp.

The department must consult with the joint legislative committee and appropriate public safety organizations.


Any staffing cuts required by the 1995-1997 budget shall be implemented to preserve the safety of the institution and the public. All reductions must be targeted toward exempt positions within DOC, including management level positions of lieutenant and above. Future recreation leader ratios must stay constant at 1995-1997 budget level.


- The Legislative Budget Committee is required to conduct an audit review of the department's budget process and the department's 1995-97 operating budget request.

- The Health Care Authority is required to contract out for review of the corrections medical system and assess potential savings by contracting out correctional medical services.

- The Department of Transportation is required to review DOC's marine transportation operation and conduct a cost- efficiency analysis.

- The Office of Financial Management, in cooperation with the Department of Corrections and General Administration, is required to conduct a cost-efficiency study of the department's food services program.

- The Department of Corrections is required to review the concept of rotational bunking and analyze how this concept can be implemented.


The board is mandated to review the feasibility of implementing a number of different proposals for correctional industries.


The department is directed to establish a focus group including representation from management, line staff, and other selected vested individuals. The focus group will meet quarterly and make recommendations concerning improving operations and identifying cost efficiencies. The superintendents shall prepare annual reports summarizing their responses to the recommendations.


A six-member legislative oversight committee is established. The oversight committee is required to oversee implementation of this act and related laws. The committee is required to review department rules. The committee is required to report to the Legislature on the department's cost savings and to make recommendations for further savings.


No money may be appropriated or expended for public art in DOC facilities through June 30, 1997. The Arts Commission and DOC must prepare a report to the legislature by July 1996 on the feasibility of developing a Class I or II industry for creation of public art within DOC. The requirements of the report are outlined.


Subject to the approval of the Correctional Industries Board, prohibitions against contracting out work performed by classified employees shall not apply to contracts with Washington business entered into by the department through Class II industries.


The requirement that all superior court misdemeanants be placed under supervision is removed. Judges are given the discretion to make supervision decisions. The Department of Corrections is authorized to collect supervision fees up to $100 per month per offender. The Washington Law and Justice Advisory Council is required to develop proposed standards and report back to the Legislature.


The department is directed to seek federal waivers to allow expansion land use and opportunities at McNeil Island. The department is also required to identify any state statutory or regulatory constraints that would impede the requested expansions on the island.

Votes on Final Passage:

House 88 7

Senate 48 0 (Senate amended)

House (House refused to concur)

{+ First Special Session +}

House 90 0

Senate 45 0

Effective: June 15, 1995

Partial Veto Summary: The partial veto removes provisions addressing the corrections advisory teams, four studies of Department of Corrections operations and programs, and the restrictions on the number of recreational leader positions. Also vetoed was a null and void clause. Clarification was provided to the establishment of the camp for alien offenders to insure that the camp applies to only "non- legal" alien offenders.

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