9.94A.159  <<  TOC  >> 9.94A.165

Chapter 9.94A RCW
Sentencing Reform Act of 1981
Applicable to Crimes Committed From July 27, 1997 to June 13, 1998


RCW 9.94A.160
Emergency due to inmate population exceeding correctional facility capacity.

If the governor finds that an emergency exists in that the population of a state residential correctional facility exceeds its reasonable, maximum capacity, then the governor may do any one or more of the following:

(1) Call the sentencing guidelines commission into an emergency meeting for the purpose of evaluating the standard ranges and other standards. The commission may adopt any revision or amendment to the standard ranges or other standards that it believes appropriate to deal with the emergency situation. The revision or amendment shall be adopted in conformity with chapter 34.05 RCW and shall take effect on the date prescribed by the commission. The legislature shall approve or modify the commission's revision or amendment at the next legislative session after the revision or amendment takes effect. Failure of the legislature to act shall be deemed as approval of the revision or amendment;

(2) If the emergency occurs prior to July 1, 1988, call the board of prison terms and paroles into an emergency meeting for the purpose of evaluating its guidelines and procedures for release of prisoners under its jurisdiction. The board shall adopt guidelines for the reduction of inmate population to be used in the event the governor calls the board into an emergency meeting under this section. The board shall not, under this subsection, reduce the prison term of an inmate serving a mandatory minimum term under RCW 9.95.040, an inmate confined for treason, an inmate confined for any violent offense as defined by RCW 9.94A.030, or an inmate who has been found to be a sexual psychopath under chapter 71.06 RCW. In establishing these guidelines, the board shall give priority to sentence reductions for inmates confined for nonviolent offenses, inmates who are within six months of a scheduled parole, and inmates with the best records of conduct during confinement. The board shall consider the public safety, the detrimental effect of overcrowding upon inmate rehabilitation, and the best allocation of limited correctional facility resources. Guidelines adopted under this subsection shall be submitted to the senate institutions and house of representatives social and health services committees for their review. This subsection does not require the board to reduce inmate population to or below any number. The board may also take any other action authorized by law to modify the terms of prisoners under its jurisdiction;

(3) Call the clemency and pardons board into an emergency meeting for the purpose of recommending whether the governor's commutation or pardon power should be exercised to meet the present emergency.

[1984 c 246 § 1; 1983 c 163 § 4; 1981 c 137 § 16. Recodified in 2001 as RCW 9.94A.870.]


Severability -- 1984 c 246: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [1984 c 246 § 12.]

Effective date -- 1983 c 163: See note following RCW 9.94A.120.

Effective date -- 1981 c 137: See RCW 9.94A.905.

9.94A.159  <<  TOC  >> 9.94A.165
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