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RCW 72.09.010

Legislative intent.

It is the intent of the legislature to establish a comprehensive system of corrections for convicted law violators within the state of Washington to accomplish the following objectives.
(1) The system should ensure the public safety. The system should be designed and managed to provide the maximum feasible safety for the persons and property of the general public, the staff, and the inmates.
(2) The system should punish the offender for violating the laws of the state of Washington. This punishment should generally be limited to the denial of liberty of the offender.
(3) The system should positively impact offenders by stressing personal responsibility and accountability and by discouraging recidivism.
(4) The system should treat all offenders fairly and equitably without regard to race, religion, sex, national origin, residence, or social condition.
(5) The system, as much as possible, should reflect the values of the community including:
(a) Avoiding idleness. Idleness is not only wasteful but destructive to the individual and to the community.
(b) Adoption of the work ethic. It is the community expectation that all individuals should work and through their efforts benefit both themselves and the community.
(c) Providing opportunities for self improvement. All individuals should have opportunities to grow and expand their skills and abilities so as to fulfill their role in the community.
(d) Linking the receipt or denial of privileges to responsible behavior and accomplishments. The individual who works to improve himself or herself and the community should be rewarded for these efforts. As a corollary, there should be no rewards for no effort.
(e) Sharing in the obligations of the community. All citizens, the public and inmates alike, have a personal and fiscal obligation in the corrections system. All communities must share in the responsibility of the corrections system.
(6) The system should provide for prudent management of resources. The avoidance of unnecessary or inefficient public expenditures on the part of offenders and the department is essential. Offenders must be accountable to the department, and the department to the public and the legislature. The human and fiscal resources of the community are limited. The management and use of these resources can be enhanced by wise investment, productive programs, the reduction of duplication and waste, and the joining together of all involved parties in a common endeavor. Since most offenders return to the community, it is wise for the state and the communities to make an investment in effective rehabilitation programs for offenders and the wise use of resources.
(7) The system should provide for restitution. Those who have damaged others, persons or property, have a responsibility to make restitution for these damages.
(8) The system should be accountable to the citizens of the state. In return, the individual citizens and local units of government must meet their responsibilities to make the corrections system effective.
(9) The system should meet those national standards which the state determines to be appropriate.
FindingsPurposeShort titleSeverabilityEffective date1995 1st sp.s. c 19: See notes following RCW 72.09.450.
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