State corrections officials will issue warrants faster when felons are no-shows
Seattle Times staff reporter
The state Department of Corrections will issue an arrest warrant within 72 hours after a convicted felon fails to report for a scheduled meeting with a community corrections officer, the agency announced today. In the past, officers had 30 days to issue a warrant.
The new policy announced today is among several the Department of Corrections (DOC) intends to implement under orders from Gov. Christine Gregoire. Last Monday, Gregoire demanded a new plan for penalizing convicted felons who have violated the terms of their prison release. Gregoire's order came after the deaths of three Seattle-area police officers during run-ins last year with DOC offenders who were on this state's version of probation. She also scrutinized the agency after it released more than 80 convicted felons from the King County Jail because of overcrowding.
All three offenders involved in the deaths of Seattle police officers Joselito Barber and Beth Nowak and King County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Cox had at some point missed appointments with community corrections officers.
Also in today's announcement, DOC Secretary Harold Clarke said community corrections officers:
• Will now travel to wherever offenders are staying and meet with those they are living with. This must be done within 10 days of the officer being assigned the offender's case, according to the new policy. In the past, these officers — this state's version of probation officers — didn't have to make home visits.
• Are now ordered to update a felon's case file within 72 hours of either meeting with the offender or the offender coming into contact with law enforcement. In the past, officers didn't have a deadline in which files had to be updated.
• Will now meet with supervisors on a weekly basis to present cases and get "supervisory direction" with complicated matters. In the past, such meetings weren't required.
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or email@example.com
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