OLYMPIA – Convicted car thieves would be placed in community supervision after being released from prison, under an effort to cut down on property crimes passed Tuesday by the Senate.
Washington is the only state that doesn’t have programs to monitor people convicted of property crimes after they leave incarceration, said Sen. Andy Billig, D-Spokane, the bill’s sponsor. The Legislature has tried for several years to develop a community custody program for people convicted of motor vehicle theft, but the Senate and House haven’t agreed on the details, he said.
“This puts people first and makes our communities safer,” he said.
Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, said the idea went from a pilot program for Spokane, proposed last year because of its high levels of car theft, to a statewide program because other communities wanted it also. In the Spokane area, it has the support of groups that don’t always agree, like the county prosecutor and the Spokane City Council, he said.
The bill was sent to the House on a unanimous vote.
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