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Washington General Prison Talk, News, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to Prison & the Criminal Justice System in Washington that do not fit into any other Washington sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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Old 02-11-2017, 04:15 PM
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Default Washington State Ombuds bills in committee now

This would create an office outside the DOC with power to investigate the DOC that could take complaints from loved ones on the outside. Also, within limits, the ombuds office could investigate problems reported by DOC employees.

There are two bills to do it, one in the Senate and one in the House. For more information, see
http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?Bi...5465&Year=2017
and
http://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?Bi...1889&Year=2017

You might have a Representative or Senator on one of the relevant committees. This link lets you look up your legislators:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder

If you're in Spokane then your state Senator, Sen. Padden, is chairman of the committee studying it.

Or you could let the 800 number operators look it up for you. You can call 800-562-6000 and leave one message that will go to both of your Representatives and to your Senator.

Ask your legislators flat out to vote "yes" or to vote "no" depending on whether you think it's a good or a bad idea. Have the bill numbers handy, 5465 for the Senate and 1889 for the House. If you have a personal story to tell them, it makes your call or email more powerful.

Move fast. If it doesn't get out of committee by Feb. 17 it's dead for the session if I understand the calendar right.

Last edited by David; 04-13-2017 at 11:25 AM..
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Old 02-18-2017, 03:58 AM
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Both the House and Senate bills have made it to the next step which is the budget committees.

If you look at leg.wa.gov you can find out who the members are of the Senate Ways and Means committee and the House Appropriations Committee. They've both got lots of members, so you have some chance your own rep is a committee member. I'd expect the operators at 800-562-6000 also would know and tell you.

I notice nobody on here ever campaigns for a law so there must be some kind of forum rule against it. Let me just say that anyone with a friend or family member under DOC control in Washington should take a look at this bill and decide whether it's a good idea and then act. For a look at what other outmates think, you can watch Melody Simle and Julie Tackett talk about a previous version in an interview at

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Old 03-18-2017, 07:06 PM
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Default Today's news on the ombuds bill

The House version died in committee. The Senate version passed the Senate and has proceeded to the House, so they have a second chance to pass it.

On 3/21 it gets a hearing at the Public Safety committee. It's expected to get out of that committee OK but may have a struggle when it gets to the budget committee. The list of Appropriations Committee members is at http://leg.wa.gov/House/Committees/A...bersStaff.aspx so you can check whether one of your representatives is on it. Go to http://app.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/ to find out who your representatives are.
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:55 PM
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House Appropriations Committee hearing tomorrow at 1:30. It almost didn't make it onto the calendar before deadline.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:44 PM
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Out of Appropriations in one piece! Now the Rules Committee peers at it and pokes it with a stick. I believe that's the last committee before it goes to an actual vote on the floor of the House.
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Old 04-07-2017, 05:57 AM
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I hope it gets passed. Although I feel for whoever would be appointed/elected/hired to do the job - there are going to be people camping on his/her doorstep for MONTHS.
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Old 04-10-2017, 10:32 AM
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Unfortunately, I feel the same way. Whoever does take on this job will be railroaded from the start. Everyone that has ever had any involvement with Washington DOC knows that is one big "good ole' boys network" it's their way or the highway. Even though it says it's independent of DOC I'm sure they will have a hand in it anyway. DOC does not like being told they are doing something wrong ever. When they are told you can expect retaliation to follow.
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Old 04-10-2017, 12:30 PM
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This time around, the WA DOC has the Republicans mad at them over the early release scandal. Politically, they've lost their support from "law and order" types. If the DOC finds some way to undermine the ombudsman, they're going to have some very unhappy legislators to answer to on both sides of the aisle including the chairman of the Senate committee that oversees them.

I don't know if this will work! But worth trying.
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Old 04-12-2017, 10:48 AM
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Yet more drama today. Today's the last day to get it to a floor vote. The House leadership hasn't agreed yet to let it have a vote.

If anyone wants to push things along, my understanding is that Speaker Frank Chopp is the one who will make the decision and that he will decide based on what he hears from Rep. Roger Goodman, the chair of the Public Safety committee. Rep. Goodman is at (360) 786 - 7878 and if you're in the Woodinville-Kirkland-whatnot area you may even be in his district.
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:24 PM
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Dead for this session despite widespread support. There is hope for it to come back to life in special session.

The Seattle Times has a pretty good article about the history and the political forces at http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-...ne-in-olympia/
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Default Since you guys are on top of this ....

My brother has been in just about every Prison in Washington, not because he has had multiple crimes - just the one. He has been moved around like a rag doll being thrown out because of retaliation.

The Ombuds program that is supposed to help. Last night I got a phone call from my brother at yet another new Prison telling me about Mr. Caldwell paying them a visit with their new Ombudsman, Mr. Lugo.

Mr. Caldwell is the grievance coordinator in Olympia. He had a little chat with some of the inmates letting them know that he has an open door policy and that he "personally" responds to every kite, grievance, letter, and email he receives. Right away I have a problem with all of this. All the trouble to get someone placed to help investigate that didn't have the same mindset of the staff and admin. These two, Caldwell and Lugo are looking and sounding like 2 peas in a pod.

Yet another ploy to grab more money from the State.
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Old Yesterday, 10:15 PM
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5294 would create something close to the opposite of Mr. Lugo's office. The ombuds office I and others have been pushing for would have its own budget and couldn't be fired by the DOC.

Mr. Lugo's office is part of the DOC's lobbying department, which says something.
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