House committee hears Inslee plan to fight property crime

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A plan to combat Washington’s worst-in-the-nation property crime rate has drawn criticism from skeptical local officials.

At a House Public Safety Committee hearing Wednesday, several administration officials and House members from both parties expressed their support for the proposal to put more offenders on community supervision after they’re released from jail.

They told the panel it would be effective at cutting property crime and holding down overcrowding rates in state prisons already full to capacity.

But prosecutors and law-enforcement representatives said an emphasis on shorter behind-bars sentences would result in overburdening county jails with offenders who would otherwise go to prison.

The state also bears the burden of liability for any offense committed by an offender on supervision, which cost taxpayers $20 million in 2014 with far fewer offenders on supervision than the plan calls for.

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