House hears important Crisis Relief Centers bill

Feb 22, 2024
Written by WR Communications

Tuesday, the House Committee on Human Services, Youth and Early Learning heard Senate Bill 5853 extending the crisis relief center model to provide services to minors, prime sponsored by Senator Manka Dhingra (D-45). WR testified in favor of this important measure.

Organized Retail Crime (ORC) rings prey on individuals suffering from behavioral illness and substance abuse addiction – regardless of their age. These individuals deserve and need treatment to break the cycle. Locking them up in jail or taking them to a medical facility doesn’t help them and our communities. Crisis relief centers can guide them to the proper services they need.

WR supports a multi-pronged approach in improving worker and public safety, lowering retail theft, and cracking down on organized retail crime – no one strategy will solve this complex problem. In order to ensure healthy, vibrant communities this measure and several others are required to provide the best chance for success.

Other measures like Initiative 2113 – allowing police to pursue property criminals in their vehicles, SB 5056 – allowing judges to impose stricter penalties on extreme repeat offenders, SB 5160 – increasing sentencing for ORC rings using multiple accomplices, all help incentivize individuals to seek treatment rather than incarceration. Remember, our legal system cannot force someone to have treatment – the individual has to choose it.

SB 5853 – is one of the prongs or strategies in helping those in need and providing more vibrant communities for all Washingtonians.



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