From Kitsap to the Governor’s Desk: Crime Victims Bill Awaits Signature


The State Legislature has voted unanimously in favor of a bill that would give crime victims a chance to voice their opinions on their offender’s placement in the prison system’s work release program.

And the effort all started here in Kitsap.

House Bill 1076, introduced twice in as many years by Rep. Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island (pictured), mandates the Department of Corrections to “consider” a victim’s input, and based on such testimony, DOC could change its decision about an offender’s work release placement.

The bill’s passage into law now only awaits Gov. Christine Gregoire’s signature.

“Work release,” as you may know, gives certain offenders a chance to serve up to the last six months of their sentence while going to work each day, but returning to a dormitory-syle facility in the evenings. They are closely monitored by corrections officers.

Nora Sizemore, whose son, Kyle, was killed in a crash in 2005, helped bring the issue to Rolfes’ attention. The driver of the car Kyle was riding in was later convicted of vehicular homicide, and eventually got to go to into work release. His job wasn’t too far from Sizemore’s home, and such proximity was a “nightmare,” she said in a press release.

The current law notifies a crime vicitm of an offender’s work release placement, but does not give the victim a chance to provide input on such placement. If it is a homicide case, next of kin is notified and allowed input.

Rolfes introduced the bill in 2008, but it stalled in the senate.

“This bill honors crime victims and their families,” Rolfes said in a press release. “The ability for citizens to be heard by their government should be a given. It is an issue of fundamental fairness.”

2 thoughts on “From Kitsap to the Governor’s Desk: Crime Victims Bill Awaits Signature

  1. The bill had ZERO fiscal impact and needs ZERO funding. It will effect a very small percentage of offenders who are sent to work release facilities – those offenders will be the ones who have commited a violent crime or a crime against persons such as homocide, rape, violent assault etc. This is a great bill and had NO opposition.

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