Chapter 9.94A RCW
(1) The sentencing guidelines commission shall recommend to the legislature no later than December 1, 1996, disposition standards for all offenses subject to the juvenile justice act, chapter 13.40 RCW.
(2) The standards shall establish, in accordance with the purposes of chapter 13.40 RCW, ranges that may include terms of confinement and/or community supervision established on the basis of the current offense and the history and seriousness of previous offenses, but in no case may the period of confinement and supervision exceed that to which an adult may be subjected for the same offense or offenses.
(3) Standards recommended for offenders listed in RCW 13.40.020(1) shall include a range of confinement that may not be less than thirty days. No standard range may include a period of confinement that includes both more than thirty, and thirty or fewer, days. Disposition standards recommended by the commission shall provide that in all cases where a youth is sentenced to a term of confinement in excess of thirty days the department may impose an additional period of parole.
(4) Standards of confinement that may be proposed may relate only to the length of the proposed terms and not to the nature of the security to be involved.
(5) The commission’s recommendations for disposition standards shall result in a simplified sentencing system. In setting the new standards, the commission shall focus on the need to protect public safety by emphasizing punishment, deterrence, and confinement for violent and repeat offenders. The seriousness of the offense shall be the most important factor in determining the length of confinement, while the offender’s age and criminal history shall count as contributing factors. The commission shall increase judicial flexibility and discretion by broadening standard ranges of confinement. The commission shall provide for the use of basic training camp programs. Alternatives to total confinement shall be considered for nonviolent offenders.
(6) In setting new standards, the commission must also study the feasibility of creating a disposition option allowing a court to order minor/first or middle offenders into inpatient substance abuse treatment. To determine the feasibility of that option, the commission must review the number of existing beds and funding available through private, county, state, or federal resources, criteria for eligibility for funding, competing avenues of access to those beds, the current system’s method of prioritizing the needs for limited bed space, the average length of stay in inpatient treatment, the costs of that treatment, and the cost effectiveness of inpatient treatment compared to outpatient treatment.
(7) In setting new standards, the commission must also recommend disposition and institutional options for serious or chronic offenders between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five who currently must either be released from juvenile court jurisdiction at age twenty-one or who are prosecuted as adults because the juvenile system is inadequate to address the seriousness of their crimes, their rehabilitation needs, or public safety. One option must include development of a youthful offender disposition option that combines adult criminal sentencing guidelines and juvenile disposition standards and addresses: (a) Whether youthful offenders would be under the jurisdiction of the department of corrections or the department of social and health services; (b) whether current age restrictions on juvenile court jurisdiction would be modified; and (c) whether the department of social and health services or the department of corrections would provide institutional and community correctional services. The option must also recommend an implementation timeline and plan, identify funding and capital construction or improvement options to provide separate facilities for youthful offenders, and identify short and long-term fiscal impacts.
(8) In developing the new standards, the commission must review disposition options in other states and consult with interested parties including superior court judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, juvenile court administrators, victims’ advocates, the department of corrections and the department of social and health services, and members of the legislature.
(9) The commission shall consider whether juveniles prosecuted under the juvenile justice system for committing violent, sex, or repeated property offenses should be automatically prosecuted as adults when their term of confinement under the adult sentencing system is longer than their term of confinement under the juvenile system. The commission shall consider the option of allowing the prosecutor to determine in which system the juvenile should be prosecuted based on the anticipated length of confinement in both systems if the court imposes an exceptional sentence or manifest injustice above the standard range as requested by the prosecutor.
[1996 c 232 § 2 ]
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