Governor signs Stambaugh’s bill to increase rehabilitation efforts in the Juvenile Justice Act
A bill sponsored by Rep. Melanie Stambaugh to increase the opportunity for rehabilitation and reintegration of juvenile offenders was signed into law Thursday by Gov. Jay Inslee. Stambaugh’s House Bill 2906 will add rehabilitation and reintegration as a goal of the state’s Juvenile Justice Act, eliminate mandatory fines for juveniles who commit motor vehicle-related offenses, and make other changes focused on expanding opportunities for juvenile offenders.
Stambaugh, R-Puyallup, says the state must be cognizant in its approach to juvenile justice and act to reduce youth recidivism rates.
“The inspiration for this legislation is the premise that young people who commit offenses are responsive to rehabilitation and have the potential to lead productive and law-abiding lives,” said Stambaugh. “It is vitally important we work to reduce the number of juveniles who re-offend within 18 months of their release. Because of this bill, fewer juvenile offenders will face punishments that have no correlation to their offense or be laden with mandatory fines that disproportionately impact those with lower economic means. We must do what we can to provide these young people with opportunities for success so they can begin to turn their lives around.”
House Bill 2906 is supported by the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Washington Defender Association, and the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. It will go into effect later this year.
###Washington State House Republican Communications