Establishes creating alternatives to total confinement for certain qualifying persons with minor children. The bill outlines many definitions related to criminal offenses. And then amends RCW 9.94A.655 and 2018 c 58 s 45:
(1) An offender is eligible for the parenting sentencing alternative if:
(a) The high end of the standard sentence range for the current offense is greater than one year;
(b) The offender has no prior or current conviction for a felony ((that is a)) sex offense ((or a violent offense));
(c) The offender has ((not been found by the United States attorney general to be subject to a deportation detainer or order and does not become subject to a deportation order during the period of the sentence)) no current conviction for a violent felony offense;
(2) Prior juvenile adjudications are not considered offenses when considering eligibility for the parenting sentencing alternative.
(3) To assist the court in making its determination, the court may order the department to complete ((either)) a risk assessment report, including a family impact statement or a chemical dependency screening report as provided in RCW 9.94A.500, ((or both reports)) prior to sentencing.
(((3))) (4) If the court is considering this alternative, the court shall request that the department contact the Department off Children, Youth, and Families to determine if the agency has an open child welfare case or prior substantiated referral of abuse or neglect involving the offender or if the agency is aware of any substantiated case of abuse or neglect with a tribal child welfare agency involving the offender.
(a) If the offender has an open child welfare case, the department will provide the release of information waiver and request that The Department of Children, Youth, and Families or the tribal child welfare agency provide a report to the court.
Updated on 4.12.19:
- "Minor child" is defined to mean a child under age the eighteen at the time of the current offense as it applies to RCW 9.94A.655 and RCW 9.94A.6551.
- Updates the eligibility of both the PSA and the parenting program developed by the department as follows:
- The offender has no prior or current conviction for a felony sex offense or a serious violent offense;
- The offender has a current or prior conviction for a nonviolent felony offense and/or a current or prior conviction for a violent felony offense and has been determined to be low risk to reoffend;
- The offender signs any release of information waivers required to allow information regarding current or prior child welfare cases to be shared with the department and the court; and
- The offender is:
- A parent with physical custody of a minor child;
- An expectant parent;
- A legal guardian or legal custodian of a minor child; or
- A biological parent, adoptive parent, or stepparent with a proven, established, ongoing, and substantial relationship with a minor child that existed at the time of the offense.
- Removed the use of risk for eligibility of a court ordered parenting sentencing alternative.
- Removed language that DOC shall pay for programming ordered by the court for an individual on the court ordered parenting sentencing alternative.
- Added that the court may extend the length of participation in the alternative program, by no more than six months.
- Removed the term “legal custodian” from one subsection, and adds the term “custodian” to the a proven, established, ongoing, and substantial relationship with a minor child that existed at the time of the offense subsection for eligibility in order to match existing policy and practice.
- Clarified that current convictions for nonviolent offenses, and current convictions for violent offenses that have been determined to be low risk to reoffend are eligible for the parenting program developed by DOC.
House Committee Amendments (updated 4.12.19):
- The eligibility criteria for the PSA are modified by specifying that the requirement to be at low risk to reoffend applies to offenders with a prior or current violent offense who are otherwise eligible.
- The court must give great weight to the minor child's best interest when determining whether to impose the PSA.
- The requirement for the DCYF to provide copies of recent court orders is clarified by specifying that those court orders are from dependency and guardianship proceedings.
- Language is added providing that the state and its agencies, officers, agents, or employees are not liable for the acts of offenders participating in the PSA unless the state or its agencies, officers, agents, or employees act with willful disregard of a known risk of immediate harm.
- The eligibility criteria for the CPA are modified by specifying that the requirement related to risk applies to offenders with a current violent offense who are otherwise eligible.
- An offender with a conviction for a current violent offense is eligible if he or she is determined to not be at high risk to reoffend (rather than determined to be at low risk to reoffend).
- The CPA is further modified by specifying that a person may participate only if the DOC determines that the offender's participation in the program is in the best interests of the child (rather than if the DOC determines that "the placement" is in the best interests of the child, as provided in current law).
- Language is added specifying that nothing in the underlying bill provides the DOC with authority to determine placement of a minor child.
- The provision in the underlying bill specifying that prior termination of parental rights does not preclude an application for the CPA is removed.
- References to "child abuse or neglect investigations" are replaced with "child protective services response," and references to "individual" or "person" in amendatory provisions are replaced with "offender" to provide consistency throughout the section.
Definitions are moved to pertinent sections.