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WASHINGTON'S OFFENDER ACCOUNTABILITY ACT.



A NEW APPROACH TO CORRECTIONS

The state of Washington's 1999 legislative session saw a significant piece of legislative passed into existence. The Offender offender n. an accused defendant in a criminal case or one convicted of a crime. (See: defendant, accused)  Accountability Act There are a number of piece of legislation known as the Accountability Act:
  • Canada's Federal Accountability Act
  • The American Syria Accountability Act,
  • Darfur Peace and Accountability Act
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
 (OAA OAA Older Americans Act
OAA Ontario Association of Architects
OAA Open Agent Architecture
OAA Old Age Assistance
OAA Obstetric Anaesthetists' Association
OAA Office of Academic Affiliations (Department of Veterans Affairs) 
) was initiated by Gov. Gary Locke Gary Locke may be:
  • Gary Locke (politician), a Chinese American politician and former Governor of Washington state
  • Gary Locke (footballer), a Scottish footballer
  • Gary Locke (English footballer)
 (D) and eventually passed unanimously in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Ultimately, it also won the support of nearly all entities within the criminal justice system in Washington. Founded on the notion of community justice, OAA will transform the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) and the way it manages offenders in the system.

Under OAA, offenders subject to supervision after release will be sentenced to terms of community custody subject to conditions set by both their counties and the DOC. Terms will apply to offenders convicted of any crime against a person, as well as violent, sex, drug and other specified crimes committed on or after July 1, 2000. Staffing increases, computer system improvements and other steps to permit OAA-mandated supervision of high-risk offenders began July 1, 1999.

BACKGROUND

Washington implemented determinant determinant, a polynomial expression that is inherent in the entries of a square matrix. The size n of the square matrix, as determined from the number of entries in any row or column, is called the order of the determinant.  sentencing in the early 1980s with the Sentencing Reform Act (SRA SrA
abbr.
senior airman
) which, for the most part, based sanctions Sanctions is the plural of sanction. Depending on context, a sanction can be either a punishment or a permission. The word is a contronym.

Sanctions involving countries:
 on the severity of the offense and prior criminal history. The stated purpose of SRA was to ensure that "punishment for a criminal offense is proportionate pro·por·tion·ate  
adj.
Being in due proportion; proportional.

tr.v. pro·por·tion·at·ed, pro·por·tion·at·ing, pro·por·tion·ates
To make proportionate.
 to the seriousness of the offense and to the offender's criminal history." SRA was expected to "promote respect for the law by providing punishment which is just," and to see that punishment is "commensurate com·men·su·rate  
adj.
1. Of the same size, extent, or duration as another.

2. Corresponding in size or degree; proportionate: a salary commensurate with my performance.

3.
 with that imposed for similar offenses." Since implementation, SRA has been amended a·mend  
v. a·mend·ed, a·mend·ing, a·mends

v.tr.
1. To change for the better; improve: amended the earlier proposal so as to make it more comprehensive.

2.
 often, usually to require imposition The printing of pages on a single sheet of paper in a particular order so that they come out in the correct sequence when cut and folded.  of harsher sanctions by the courts. Not surprisingly, Washington has increased its prison population significantly during the past 15 years.

Now, growing numbers of Washington legislators are concerned that continued reliance on incarceration Confinement in a jail or prison; imprisonment.

Police officers and other law enforcement officers are authorized by federal, state, and local lawmakers to arrest and confine persons suspected of crimes. The judicial system is authorized to confine persons convicted of crimes.
 as punishment is an expensive response to crime. Instead of focusing on "just deserts Noun 1. just deserts - an outcome in which virtue triumphs over vice (often ironically)
poetic justice

final result, outcome, resultant, termination, result - something that results; "he listened for the results on the radio"
," the Legislature has found a new agenda in OAA. SRA gives token support to the notion of rehabilitation rehabilitation: see physical therapy.  in the stated purpose of "offering the offender an opportunity to improve him or herself." OAA will breathe life into the offender change agenda by adding another purpose to sentencing: "Reducing the risk of offending of·fend  
v. of·fend·ed, of·fend·ing, of·fends

v.tr.
1. To cause displeasure, anger, resentment, or wounded feelings in.

2.
 by offenders in the community." Supervision in the community using all available tools, including surveillance and treatment, to mitigate mit·i·gate
v.
To moderate in force or intensity.



miti·gation n.
 risk now is an expectation.

Years of skepticism skepticism (skĕp`tĭsĭzəm) [Gr.,=to reflect], philosophic position holding that the possibility of knowledge is limited either because of the limitations of the mind or because of the inaccessibility of its object.  about rehabilitation as a sentencing goal have created a conflict between demands for retribution RETRIBUTION. 1. That which is given to another to recompense him for what has been received from him; as a rent for the hire of a house. 2. A salary paid to a person for his services. 3. The distribution of rewards and punishments.  and the belief that we must try to modify the behavior of those who engage in criminal conduct. There have been pendulum-like swings from punishment to rehabilitation and back again. The rut this pendulum wore became yet another factor preventing change and a fresh approach.

So far, at least, OAA has avoided this rut by sidestepping the "what's new" school altogether. OAA responds with thoughtful attention to "what works," and that has brought focus, a sense of direction and added credibility to the DOC. The growing volume of literature that supports this effort is testimony to the resilience resilience (r·zilˑ·yens),
n
 and creativity the corrections field is committing to this question.

CITIZEN EXPECTATIONS As we develop this more solid footing, we can ask: What do the citizens want from our system? Many polls tell us that citizens want more from the criminal justice system than it is delivering. They typically want:

* Safety from violent crime;

* Offenders to be held accountable;

* Offenders to repair the damage they have caused;

* Offenders to receive treatment that makes for safe release from incarceration; and

* Public and victim involvement in the decision-making process.

These elements are not within the core work of most correctional agencies and not within the mandates of Washington's sentencing system. Addressing these concerns means introducing a new, fundamental element into the DOC's core work -- the community. This means changing the DOC's approach from working for the community as a client to working with the community as a partner.

Community and risk mitigation MITIGATION. To make less rigorous or penal.
     2. Crimes are frequently committed under circumstances which are not justifiable nor excusable, yet they show that the offender has been greatly tempted; as, for example, when a starving man steals bread to satisfy
 are key elements of OAA. OAA requires offenders to be supervised su·per·vise  
tr.v. su·per·vised, su·per·vis·ing, su·per·vis·es
To have the charge and direction of; superintend.



[Middle English *supervisen, from Medieval Latin
 in the community based on the risk they pose to community safety and that risk information be provided to the sentencing court if so ordered. It requires that risk be assessed using an objective instrument that is supported by research. This assessment also must take into consideration the nature of the harm done by offenders, the places and circumstances CIRCUMSTANCES, evidence. The particulars which accompany a fact.
     2. The facts proved are either possible or impossible, ordinary and probable, or extraordinary and improbable, recent or ancient; they may have happened near us, or afar off; they are public or
 of the offender related to risk, the offenders' relationship with the victims and other information provided by the victims.

MSESSEG RISK

The DOC has chosen to use the Level of Service Inventory -- Revised (LSI-R LSI-R Level of Service Inventory - Revised ) as its primary risk-assessment instrument. Community corrections officers The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Please [ improve this article] or discuss the issue on the talk page.
 and case management staff in Washington institutions have been trained to administer the LSI-R and are beginning to develop case management plans that focus on the dynamic risk factors it identifies.

OAA further requires that the DOC establish a systematic means of assessing offender risk to public safety while mandating that it deploys community correctional staff on "the basis of geographic areas in which offenders under department jurisdiction are located." The clear expectation is that the offender "risk set" -- individual behavior and cognitive patterns that are criminogenic crim·i·no·gen·ic   also crim·o·gen·ic
adj.
Producing or tending to produce crime or criminality: "Alcohol is the most criminogenic substance in America" James B. Jacobs. 
 -- should be identified. In addition, the DOC must identify the risk factors of the communities in which offenders are located. The purpose of this effort is to focus and align align (līn),
v to move the teeth into their proper positions to conform to the line of occlusion.
 activities and resources around high-risk offenders and places.

CAA'S CHALLENGES

Among the other challenges of this new sentencing/offender management system is a significant change in the way conditions of supervision are developed and imposed. Generally, conditions of supervision in the community have been established by the sentencing court with input from DOC staff. OAA allows department staff to directly impose conditions of supervision and, to some degree, modify the conditions imposed by the court. Conditions that are prohibitive pro·hib·i·tive   also pro·hib·i·to·ry
adj.
1. Prohibiting; forbidding: took prohibitive measures.

2.
 and affirmative AFFIRMATIVE. Averring a fact to be true; that which is opposed to negative. (q.v.)
     2. It is a general rule of evidence that the affirmative of the issue must be proved. Bull. N. P. 298 ; Peake, Ev. 2.
     3.
 are both allowed, with the intention of impacting the "risk set" of the offender. Additionally, department staff will have some discretion in determining the period of supervision in the community. All of this is a significant change for DOC community corrections officers.

There is another major change in how corrections business will be conducted in Washington under OAA: The DOC, rather than the sentencing court, will respond to offender violation behavior. This new process will ensure more immediate and certain response to violation behaviors. It necessitates forming a cadre (company) CADRE - The US software engineering vendor which merged with Bachman Information Systems to form Cayenne Software in July 1996.  of hearings officers, along with appropriate procedures, to administratively respond to violation behavior. A range of sanctions may be used, but clear emphasis is placed on developing a "range of graduated sanctions." While the DOC previously has used a variety of intermediate sanctions Intermediate sanctions is a term used in regulations enacted by the United States Internal Revenue Service that is applied to non-profit organizations who engage in transactions that inure to the benefit of a disqualified person within the organization. , it now must develop more and varied options, including additional day reporting centers and halfway-back beds. This new process will ensure more immediate and certain response to violation behavior.

Much effort has gone into conceptualizing Washington's new corrections business. So, what might this new community-focused system look like? One way to guess is to contrast this system with the "offender-focused" system Washington has had in place for the past 15 years. Figure 1 contrasts these systems across six dimensions.

OAA spells out what the DOC is required to do with a fair amount of clarity. It must respond to the offender "risk set," which includes the dynamic risk factors of offenders as well as community risk factors. Obviously, the DOC cannot do this alone. To be successful, it not only must change the way it deploys its own resources, but must engage the resources of the broader community, both formally and informally. Partnerships with agencies such as law enforcement and social services social services
Noun, pl

welfare services provided by local authorities or a state agency for people with particular social needs

social services nplservicios mpl sociales 
 are obvious choices. Far more elusive, however, is the necessity to engage informal networks of family, friends, neighbors and employers -- the natural guardians who impact offender, victim and "place."

In the future, the DOC's work will be in the community and with the community. It must accept this new identity, as must its many community partners. The task is monumental mon·u·men·tal  
adj.
1. Of, resembling, or serving as a monument.

2. Impressively large, sturdy, and enduring.

3.
 -- not only must the DOC see itself differently, it must be seen differently. What were assets in the past -- anonymity and impenetrability im·pen·e·tra·bil·i·ty  
n.
1. The quality or condition of being impenetrable.

2. The inability of two bodies to occupy the same space at the same time.

Noun 1.
 -- must change. The DOC must redefine Verb 1. redefine - give a new or different definition to; "She redefined his duties"
define, delimit, delimitate, delineate, specify - determine the essential quality of

2.
 its resources and capacities as it redefines its work.

Robert Moore Robert Moore may refer to
  • Robert Moore (politician) (1886-1960), Northern Ireland theologian and politician
  • Robert Moore (Pennsylvania) (1778-1831), United States Congressman from Pennsylvania
 is legislation project manager for the Washington Department of Corrections. Cheryl Brown Young, Ph.D., is director of the Performance Institute of the Washington Department of Corrections.
                 COMPARISON OF COMMUNITY SUPERVISION UNDER
                    SRA AND OFFENDER ACCOUNTABILITY ACT
OFFENDER-FOCUSED SYSTEM                COMMUNITY-FOCUSED SYSTEM
(SRA)                                  (OFFENDER ACCOUNTABILITY)
I.OFFENDER CASE PLANNING:              I.OFFENDER CASE PLANNING:
For offenders sentenced to a period    Plan is based on risk assessment
                                         during
  of time in DOC facility, perison       presentence process or at intake.
  staff
  develop a plan typically focused     Initial prison plan, for offenders
  at prison adjustment.                  sentenced to a period of time in a
                                         DOC
Community corrections officer develops   facility, focused on dynamic risk
  a                                      factors,
  community plan when offender is        i.e., offender characteristics that
  returned to                            are
  community from prison or jail or       amenable to change (e.g., cirminal
  directly after                         thinking
  sentencing if incarceration is not     patterns, addictive behavior).
  part of the
  sentence.                            The majority of case planning
                                         activities
Community plan is primarily focused on   both in the institution and in the
  ensuring that conditions of            community are focused on dynamic
  supervision                            risk factors
  are monitored and enforced.            and developed with citizen
                                         participation.
Goal is compliance with plan as a      Goal is reduction of risk as a vehicle
  vehicle
  for reducing offense behavior.         for reducing offense behavior.
II.OFFENDER SUPERVISION:              II.OFFENDER SUPERVISION:
Activities revolve primarily around    Activities revolve around offender
  the offender                           contacts
  and his or her compliance or lack of   within the community. Supervision is
  compliance with conditions of          expanded by
  supervision.                           collaboration/partnership with
Level of supervision and length of       community members, law enforcement,
  supervision is                         and other
  determined by crime and other static   agencies and significant others
  factors                                (community
  (e.g., age, criminal history).         supervision groups).
Monitoring involves contact with the   Content of supervision is determined
  offender,                              by "risk
  both in office and at home.            set" (i.e., offender
                                       characteristics, relationships,
                                         place).
Some collateral contacts (e.g.,        Length of supervision determined by
  employer) occur.                       the court,
Offender change programs (e.g.,          but may be modified by community
  cognitive change,                      supervision
  victim awareness) are primarily used   group based on risk/needs of
  as sanctions.                          offender.
Community corrections officer is       Conditions of supervision determined
  primary                                by court,
  agent of supervision.                  but may be enhanced by community
                                       supervision group
                                         to mitigate risk posed by offender.
                                       Offender
                                         change programs are key component of
                                         case plan.
                                       The community supervision group
                                       identifies the "risk set."
III.RESPONDING TO OFFENDER            III.RESPONDING TO OFFENDER
VIOLATIONS:                             VIOLATIONS:
Community supervision offenders        The community supervision group
brought                                assesses the
  back before the court.                 "risk set" and intervences in an
                                          effort to
Some intermediate sanctions used, but    prevent violations.
  incarceration is primary violation   An administrative DOC process promotes
  response.
                                         certainty and immediacy.
                                       A range of intermediate sanctions is
                                       available.
IV.COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS OFFICER       IV.COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS OFFICER
PERFORMANCE FOCUS:                      PERFORMANCE FOCUS:
Supervision of offenders is            Supervision of offenders is
quantitatively                         qualitatively measured
  measured: Completion of contacts.      through indicators that document a
                                         community
Timely submission of reprots and         presence and effectiveness of plan.
                                         Examples
  computer entries                     include:
Collection of legal financial            Community contacts
obligations
  (e.g., restitution)                    Reduction of risk factors on LSI
                                         Collaborative case plan devleopment
                                       with community
                                         supervisory groups
                                         Assessments of offender compliance
                                       with conditions
                                         of supervision and successful plan
                                       implementation
V.LOCATION OF STAFF:                    V.LOCATION OF STAFF:
Community corrections officer in       Colocated with law enforcement and/or
single-unit                            other community
  or multiple-unit field office          organizations in neighborhood
  centrally                              locations.
  located in geographic catchment      Deployment or resources is driven by
  areas.                                 neighborhood
                                         risk/need and offender
                                         concentration.
VI. ROLE OF COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS        VI. ROLE OF COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS
OFFICERS IN COMMUNITY:                   OFFICERS IN COMMUNITY:
  Information-gathering                   Resource for information
  Protect offender confidentiality        Community catalyst
  Supervision of caseload                 Collaborative supervision
  Offender-centered                       Community at center
COPYRIGHT 2000 American Correctional Association, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:MOORE, ROBERT; YOUNG, CHERYL BROWN
Publication:Corrections Today
Geographic Code:1U9WA
Date:Feb 1, 2000
Words:1977
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