Gov. Gregoire Proposes Changes to State Criminal Justice System

In the wake of the murders of six Washington police officers, Governor Christine Gregoire is proposing several changes to how the state deals with offenders.

From the PI:

The governor said she’s proposing a new option for the state’s justice system: guilty and mentally ill. This would allow courts to find a person guilty of a crime and sentence them to prison, instead of a state psychiatric hospital, Gregoire said.

Gregoire also said she would:

  • Direct the Department of Corrections to link to the State Victim Notification System to make certain the department is notified when an offender is released from jail.
  • Work with the law enforcement community to improve computer alerts so an officer knows whether an individual they are contacting has a history of violent criminal behavior.
  • Seek stiffer penalties for offenders in Community Custody who assault a law enforcement officer or a community corrections officer.
  • Gregoire is also proposing changes to the state constitution which would allow judges to hold high-risk offenders without bail, and wants the children of slain officers to be eligible for free college tuition.