State Could Release Inmates Early to Save Cash

Seattle Times:

Some prison inmates would have months shaved from their sentences to reduce state costs and fund programs to lower recidivism, under a bill heard by a Senate committee Tuesday.

“Its purpose is to reach a balance between the costs we pay and the benefit we reap from incarceration,” Sen. Adam Kline, D-Seattle, lead sponsor of SB 5866, told the Human Services and Corrections Committee.

The proposal was opposed by prosecutors and supported by defense lawyers.

Under Kline’s bill, offenders with a low risk to reoffend would be released 120 days early, while those with a moderate risk to reoffend would be released 90 days early. Nonviolent offenders with a high risk to reoffend would have 60 days cut from their sentences.

The early release would not apply to inmates convicted of sex offenses or murder, or those serving life without parole. Inmates serving time under drug or sex-offense alternative-sentencing programs also wouldn’t qualify.