Behavior Modification Training to Become Part of Washington State DOC
Governor Chris Gregoire signed Senate Bill 6400 into law on March 20, 2008. The bill enacts a revolutionary concept designed to correct what politicians perceive to be, the morally corrupt character of its state prisoners.
The behavior bill is intended to help men and women prisoners develop prosocial behaviors that will enhance their successful reintegration into society as law abiding citizens. Educators and counselors are to be employed to teach various skills such as managing emotions, religious tolerance and ethics, and morally acceptable behavior.
Provisions of the behavior bill include the identification and integration of already existing state services, the improved collaboration of those services and the creation of new services and programs.
The program is designed to be both secular and nondenominational. Spokespersons from various groups will be included in coordinating its implementation. Prosecuting attorneys and defense lawyers, faith-based groups and victim’s rights advocates, victim’s family members and family members of prisoners are to be included in the program’s oversight committee. Plans of the oversight committee are scheduled to be put in place by June 10, 2010.
Though the concept is secular and nondenominational prison chaplains are to be given a major role in the behavior bill’s implementation. The bill places emphasis on prison chaplain’s qualifications and is designed to operate in both juvenile and adult facilities.
The bill concludes with a disclaimer that dictates that DOC chaplains cannot he “compelled to carry liability insurance as a condition of providing these services,” and are entitled to representation by the state attorney general for any “action or proceeding for damages” that may occur as a result of their participation in the program.
Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood beamed with pride at the passage of the bill.
“It’s great to have two of my bills signed into law simultaneously,” he said. “I’m very proud, because these pieces of legislation are going to do some really good things for Pierce County and the state of Washington.”
Carrell also sponsored SB 6437 requiring more accountability for the actions of Bailbond companies and bounty hunters.
Source: Substitute Senate Bill 6400, 60th Leg., 2008 Reg. Session
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