43.185C.190  <<  43.185C.200 >>   43.185C.210

Transitional housing assistance to offendersPilot program.

(1) *The department of community, trade, and economic development shall establish a pilot program to provide grants to eligible organizations, as described in RCW 43.185.060, to provide transitional housing assistance to offenders who are reentering the community and are in need of housing.
(2) There shall be a minimum of two pilot programs established in two counties. The pilot programs shall be selected through a request for proposal process and in consultation with the department of corrections. The department shall select the pilot sites by January 1, 2008.
(3) The pilot program shall:
(a) Be operated in collaboration with the community justice center existing in the location of the pilot site;
(b) Offer transitional supportive housing that includes individual support and mentoring available on an ongoing basis, life skills training, and close working relationships with community justice centers and community corrections officers. Supportive housing services can be provided directly by the housing operator, or in partnership with community-based organizations;
(c) In providing assistance, give priority to offenders who are designated as high risk or high needs as well as those determined not to have a viable release plan by the department of corrections;
(d) Optimize available funding by utilizing cost-effective community-based shared housing arrangements or other noninstitutional living arrangements; and
(e) Provide housing assistance for a period of time not to exceed twelve months for a participating offender.
(4) The department may also use up to twenty percent of the funding appropriated in the operating budget for this section to support the development of additional supportive housing resources for offenders who are reentering the community.
(5) The department shall:
(a) Collaborate with the department of corrections in developing criteria to determine who will qualify for housing assistance; and
(b) Gather data, and report to the legislature by November 1, 2008, on the number of offenders seeking housing, the number of offenders eligible for housing, the number of offenders who receive the housing, and the number of offenders who commit new crimes while residing in the housing to the extent information is available.
(6) The department of corrections shall collaborate with organizations receiving grant funds to:
(a) Help identify appropriate housing solutions in the community for offenders;
(b) Where possible, facilitate an offender's application for housing prior to discharge;
(c) Identify enhancements to training provided to offenders prior to discharge that may assist an offender in effectively transitioning to the community;
(d) Maintain communication between the organization receiving grant funds, the housing provider, and corrections staff supervising the offender; and
(e) Assist the offender in accessing resources and services available through the department of corrections and a community justice center.
(7) The state, *department of community, trade, and economic development, department of corrections, local governments, local housing authorities, eligible organizations as described in RCW 43.185.060, and their employees are not liable for civil damages arising from the criminal conduct of an offender solely due to the placement of an offender in housing provided under this section or the provision of housing assistance.
(8) Nothing in this section allows placement of an offender into housing without an analysis of the risk the offender may pose to that particular community or other residents.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: The "department of community, trade, and economic development" was renamed the "department of commerce" by 2009 c 565.
FindingIntent2007 c 483: See note following RCW 35.82.340.
Findings2007 c 483: See RCW 72.78.005.
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