OLYMPIA — The Washington State House of Representatives on March 7 unanimously passed a bill that supporters claim will improve the reporting process of felons released from prison.
“Our sex offender notification laws are valuable tools in tracking and monitoring convicted sex offenders released in our communities,” said Rep. Mark Ericks, D-Bothell, the bill’s prime sponsor. “And as a former police officer and police chief, I’m certain this bill will make a crucial difference by keeping better tabs on these individuals.”
Currently, when convicted sex offenders or kidnappers are released from prison, they must register with the sheriff or police department where they live. But if the sex offender was behind bars for something other than a sex offense or kidnapping and then is released, he or she doesn’t have to register.
Ericks’ bill adds registration requirements to the law for sex offenders who have been released after serving a sentence for a non-sex, non-kidnapping offense.
Supporters say the bill closes a registration loophole and gives law enforcement and the public an even better tracking tool.
The bill went to the Senate for further consideration.