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  #26  
Old 01-12-2018, 12:01 AM
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This was in the latest email from Disability Rights Washington.

Quote:
HB 1889, a bill that would create an independent corrections ombuds in Washington, is on the calendar for a hearing in the House Public Safety Committee on January 15, 2018 at 1:30. If you are in Olympia, please come sign in support of this important legislation. HB 1889 is sponsored by Rep. Pettigrew but it had bipartisan support last year and we are hopeful we will see it pass this session!

The full text of the bill can be found at: http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/bienni...lls/1889-S.pdf

If you cannot make it to Olympia but want to sign in support, you can submit your online comments here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill//1889
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  #27  
Old 01-14-2018, 04:29 PM
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So now the suggestion is to contract out a heavily biased group who has the ability to cherry pick cases. Meanwhile, the state struggles to fund officer safety programs.
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  #28  
Old 01-19-2018, 05:55 PM
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The actual ombudsman office will have to be neutral to keep their credibility as mediators. It's a critical, defining part of the job.

"Heavily biased" could arguably apply to the advisory council. Last year the makeup of the advisory council got changed to lessen the perceived slant in favor of inmate families.

But that's not the interesting thing. This year, the House just amended the ombudsman bill to remove the advisory council completely.

But it's still in the Senate version! Not clear how this is going to turn out.

Interestingly the most friction came from having legislators on the advisory council.

This is what used to be the proposed makeup of the advisory council:
Quote:
(2) The council initially consists of one legislative member from the largest caucus of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, and one legislative member from the largest caucus of the senate, appointed by the president of the senate. The legislative members shall select the following additional members:
(a) Two former inmates who have successfully reintegrated into the community and are no longer in the custody of the department;
(b) Two family members of a current inmate;
(c) One expert with significant criminal justice or correctional experience who is not an employee or contractor with the state of Washington;
(d) A community member with extensive knowledge and experience in issues related to racial, ethnic, or religious diversity within the correctional system;
(e) A community member with extensive knowledge and experience in the accommodation needs of individuals with disabilities; and
(f) A community member with dispute resolution training who has experience working in the criminal justice or corrections field.
(3) The council also includes:
(a) The department staff serving as the internal ombuds, if any; (b) A bargaining unit representative, as selected by the
membership of the bargaining unit; and
(c) A representative of the governor's office.
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  #29  
Old 02-02-2018, 10:32 PM
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Amendments have been coming fast. Here's what came out of the Public Safety committee and is trying to get considered by Appropriations.

The largest change is that if I understand right the ombudsman will be part of the governor's office.

http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/bienni...ls/1889-S2.pdf
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  #30  
Old 02-12-2018, 12:48 AM
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IF I'm reading the web site right, 1889 is out of committee and heading for a floor vote. Now is the time to let your state reps know whether you support or oppose it.
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  #31  
Old 02-17-2018, 09:30 PM
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It passed the House and is now in the Senate Human Services and Corrections committee.

Here's the list of committee members. If your Senator is on the committee and if you have an opinion, by all means call or write. They work for you.

http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/...bersStaff.aspx
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  #32  
Old 02-23-2018, 04:53 PM
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Down to the wire. It has to clear committee by the end of Monday or it's dead for the session.

Ways and Means has it now. If you have an opinion and if your Senator is on the Ways and Means committee now is the time to call.

The list of committee members is at http://leg.wa.gov/Senate/Committees/...bersStaff.aspx
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Old 02-27-2018, 02:42 PM
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It cleared Ways and Means and is in front of the Rules Committee.

Here's the email I got from a key supporter of the bill.

Quote:
HB 1889, a bill creating a DOC ombuds, is closer to passage than ever before! It was passed out of the House with a bipartisan vote earlier this month and just came out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee yesterday. It is now in the Senate Rules Committee but we need to get it onto the Senate floor. This is where you come in.

Please take a minute now to contact members of the Rules committee and ask them to use a “pull” to bring HB 1889 to the floor for a vote. If you are a constituent, please mention that as well. The contact for all Rules members is below.

Member Email Phone
Cyrus Habib (Chair of Rules Committee) cyrus.habib@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7700
Karen Keiser Karen.keiser@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7664
Barbara Bailey Barbara.bailey@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7618
Randi Becker Randi.becker@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7602
Andy Billig andy.billig@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7604
Maralyn Chase maralyn.chase@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7662
Annette Cleveland Annette.cleveland@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7696
Joe Fain joe.fain@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7692
Bob Hasegawa bob.hasegawa@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7616
Sam Hunt sam.hunt@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7642
Curtis King Curtis.king@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7626
Marko Liias marko.liias@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7640
John McCoy john.mccoy@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7674
Sharon Nelson sharon.nelson@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7667
Jamie Pedersen Jamie.pedersen@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7628
Mark Schoesler mark.schoesler@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7620
Tim Sheldon tim.sheldon@leg.wa.gov (360) 786-7668

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  #34  
Old 02-27-2018, 07:58 PM
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Out of the Rules committee and headed for a floor vote!
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  #35  
Old 02-28-2018, 07:35 AM
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that's great news!
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Old 02-28-2018, 08:49 AM
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Especially since it's had bipartisan majority support all along. There have been many disappointments for many years but I feel hope.
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  #37  
Old 03-01-2018, 11:59 AM
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Passed the Senate. Onward to the governor's desk.
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Old 03-01-2018, 04:48 PM
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By the way, the Senate vote was

Third reading, passed; yeas, 48; nays, 0; absent, 0; excused, 1.
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  #39  
Old 03-05-2018, 06:05 PM
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Now the House has gone through the process that says yes, we're okay with the Senate amendments. Next stop: the governor's desk.

If you have an opinion, and if you're on this forum you probably do, go to https://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/...act-gov-inslee and make that opinion known. Personal stories have power.
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  #40  
Old 03-14-2018, 11:19 AM
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Careful citizens will want to read it first.

http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/bienni.../1889-S2.E.pdf

Terrible things happen when I try to copy and paste from a PDF, but here goes an attempt to paste the most relevant part, about what the office can and must do. More than one of the people lobbying for the bill wanted an inmate advocate but the bill says they must remain neutral.

This is long. I didn't write anything after it so if you stop reading here you've read everything I wrote.

NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. (1) The ombuds shall:
(a) Establish priorities for use of the limited resources available to the ombuds;
(b) Maintain a statewide toll-free telephone number, a collect telephone number, a web site, and a mailing address for the receipt of complaints and inquiries;
(c) Provide information, as appropriate, to inmates, family members, representatives of inmates, department employees, and others regarding the rights of inmates;
(d) Provide technical assistance to support inmate participation in self-advocacy;
(e) Monitor department compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations, and policies as related to the health, safety, welfare, and rehabilitation of inmates;
(f) Monitor and participate in legislative and policy developments affecting correctional facilities;
(g) Establish a statewide uniform reporting system to collect and analyze data related to complaints received by the ombuds regarding the department;
(h) Establish procedures to receive, investigate, and resolve complaints;
(i) Establish procedures to gather stakeholder input into the ombuds' activities and priorities, which must include at a minimum quarterly public meetings;
(j) Submit annually to the governor's office, the legislature, and the statewide family council, by November 1st of each year, a report that includes, at a minimum, the following information:
(i) The budget and expenditures of the ombuds;
(ii) The number of complaints received and resolved by the ombuds;
p. 3 E2SHB 1889
1 (iii) A description of significant systemic or individual
2 investigations or outcomes achieved by the ombuds during the prior
3 year;
4 (iv) Any outstanding or unresolved concerns or recommendations of
5 the ombuds; and
6 (v) Input and comments from stakeholders, including the statewide
7 family council, regarding the ombuds' activities during the prior
8 year; and
9 (k) Adopt and comply with rules, policies, and procedures
10 necessary to implement this chapter.
11 (2)(a) The ombuds may initiate and attempt to resolve an
12 investigation upon his or her own initiative, or upon receipt of a
13 complaint from an inmate, a family member, a representative of an
14 inmate, a department employee, or others, regarding:
15 (i) Abuse or neglect;
16 (ii) Department decisions or administrative actions;
17 (iii) Inactions or omissions;
18 (iv) Policies, rules, or procedures; or
19 (v) Alleged violations of law by the department that may
20 adversely affect the health, safety, welfare, and rights of inmates.
21 (b) Prior to filing a complaint with the ombuds, a person shall
22 have reasonably pursued resolution of the complaint through the
23 internal grievance, administrative, or appellate procedures with the
24 department. However, in no event may an inmate be prevented from
25 filing a complaint more than ninety business days after filing an
26 internal grievance, regardless of whether the department has
27 completed the grievance process. This subsection (2)(b) does not
28 apply to complaints related to threats of bodily harm including, but
29 not limited to, sexual or physical assaults or the denial of
30 necessary medical treatment.
31 (c) The ombuds may decline to investigate any complaint as
32 provided by the rules adopted under this chapter.
33 (d) If the ombuds does not investigate a complaint, the ombuds
34 shall notify the complainant of the decision not to investigate and
35 the reasons for the decision.
36 (e) The ombuds may not investigate any complaints relating to an
37 inmate's underlying criminal conviction.
38 (f) The ombuds may not investigate a complaint from a department
39 employee that relates to the employee's employment relationship with
40 the department or the administration of the department, unless the
p. 4 E2SHB 1889
1 complaint is related to the health, safety, welfare, and
2 rehabilitation of inmates.
3 (g) The ombuds must attempt to resolve any complaint at the
4 lowest possible level.
5 (h) The ombuds may refer complainants and others to appropriate
6 resources, agencies, or departments.
7 (i) The ombuds may not levy any fees for the submission or
8 investigation of complaints.
9 (j) The ombuds must remain neutral and impartial and may not act
10 as an advocate for the complainant or for the department.
11 (k) At the conclusion of an investigation of a complaint, the
12 ombuds must render a public decision on the merits of each complaint,
13 except that the documents supporting the decision are subject to the
14 confidentiality provisions of section 7 of this act. The ombuds must
15 communicate the decision to the inmate, if any, and to the
16 department. The ombuds must state its recommendations and reasoning
17 if, in the ombuds' opinion, the department or any employee thereof
18 should:
19 (i) Consider the matter further;
20 (ii) Modify or cancel any action;
21 (iii) Alter a rule, practice, or ruling;
22 (iv) Explain in detail the administrative action in question; or
23 (v) Rectify an omission.
24 (l) If the ombuds so requests, the department must, within the
25 time specified, inform the ombuds about any action taken on the
26 recommendations or the reasons for not complying with the
27 recommendations.
28 (m) If the ombuds believes, based on the investigation, that
29 there has been or continues to be a significant inmate health,
30 safety, welfare, or rehabilitation issue, the ombuds must report the
31 finding to the governor and the appropriate committees of the
32 legislature.
33 (n) Before announcing a conclusion or recommendation that
34 expressly, or by implication, criticizes a person or the department,
35 the ombuds shall consult with that person or the department. The
36 ombuds may request to be notified by the department, within a
37 specified time, of any action taken on any recommendation presented.
38 The ombuds must notify the inmate, if any, of the actions taken by
39 the department in response to the ombuds' recommendations.



(3) This chapter does not require inmates to file a complaint with the ombuds in order to exhaust available administrative remedies for purposes of the prison litigation reform act of 1995, P.L. 104-134.
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  #41  
Old 03-28-2018, 02:50 PM
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The governor has signed the prison ombuds bill.

Everyone who contacted your legislators about this, you were part of the success. Pat yourselves on the back.

Let's see how well it works.
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