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The purpose of this chapter is to make the criminal justice system accountable to the public by developing a system for the sentencing of felony offenders which structures, but does not eliminate, discretionary decisions affecting sentences, and to:
(1) Ensure that the punishment for a criminal offense is proportionate to the seriousness of the offense and the offender's criminal history;
(2) Promote respect for the law by providing punishment which is just;
(3) Be commensurate with the punishment imposed on others committing similar offenses;
(4) Protect the public;
(5) Offer the offender an opportunity to improve himself or herself;
(6) Make frugal use of the state's and local governments' resources; and
(7) Reduce the risk of reoffending by offenders in the community.


Severability1999 c 196: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1999 c 196 s 20.]
ConstructionShort title1999 c 196: See RCW 72.09.904 and 72.09.905.
Report on Sentencing Reform Act of 1981: "The legislative budget committee shall prepare a report to be filed at the beginning of the 1987 session of the legislature. The report shall include a complete assessment of the impact of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1981. Such report shall include the effectiveness of the guidelines and impact on prison and jail populations and community correction programs." [ 1983 c 163 s 6.]
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