End of Sentence Review Committee
The Department of Corrections and its partners strive to keep communities safe. One issue of community safety is managed through the registration and notification of sex offenders and kidnappers leaving state incarceration.
Management also includes external controls ranging from requiring them to register with local sheriffs’ departments and imposing conditions of release to civil commitment in locked facilities that offer treatment.
The End of Sentence Review Committee (ESRC) reviews all sex and registerable kidnapping offenders releasing from state prisons, mental hospitals or juvenile rehabilitation facilities.
Offenders reviewed by the ESRC include those:
- Convicted of sex offenses
- Found not guilty because of insanity
- Found legally incompetent to stand trial
- Convicted of sexually motivated offenses
- Convicted of kidnapping/unlawful imprisonment offenses.
The committee also reviews offenders who have committed crimes against children and those of special interest who are considered a high risk to commit violent offenses.
The ESRC consists of the representatives of state and local agencies that release sex offenders. Membership includes:
- Department of Corrections, which primarily incarcerates adult offenders and supervises those in the community under its jurisdiction
- Department of Social and Health Services which:
- Incarcerates juvenile offenders
- Treats mentally ill offenders
- Operates Children’s Administration which protects abused and neglected children
- Operates Aging and Disability Administration which serves adults with chronic illnesses or conditions, and people of all ages with developmental disabilities
- Operates the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island and lesser restrictive facilities in the community for civilly committed sex offenders
- Provides a victim’s advocate
The committee uses an assessment guide known as the Washington State Sex Offender Risk Level Classification Revised 1999 Instrument (PDF) as its principal means for assigning risk levels to registerable sex offenders, although the state is in the process of adopting a new assessment tool.
Due to the number of cases requiring review, the End of Sentence Review Committee includes three subcommittees, in addition to the primary committee, which meet monthly to review:
- Juvenile sex offenders
- Offenders who present a lower risk of sexual reoffense within the community at large, registerable kidnappers, offenders who have committed crimes against children and those who may be of interest to the Children's Administration or Aging and Disability Services Administration
- Sex offenders who may be referred for civil commitment as sexually violent predators
Registerable sex offenders are placed in one of three classifications when their risk assessment indicates:
- Level 1 – Low risk of sexual re-offense within the community at large. Sheriffs’ departments share information about them with other law enforcement agencies and may disclose information to the public upon request
- Level 2 – Moderate risk of sexual re-offense within the community at large. The Sheriffs’ departments may share information about them with schools, child care centers, businesses, neighbors and community groups near their expected residence or places where they are regularly found
- Level 3 – High risk of sexual re-offense within the community at large. In addition to the type of disclosures made for Level 2 sex offenders, Sheriffs’ departments can provide information about them to the public at large
All registerable sex offenders must register with their county sheriff’s departments.
The ESRC also makes recommendations involving individuals who appear to meet criteria for civil commitment under RCW 71.09 as a Sexually Violent Predator. ESRC also makes recommendations to the courts involving sexually violent predators. Learn more about Civil Commitment.
State agencies issue notifications to other agencies about the impending release of offenders. These notifications may be sent to the DSHS Children's Administration or the DSHS Aging and Disability Services Administration, police agencies, mental health authorities, and licensing agencies which issue certificates and other documents that potentially could give offenders access to vulnerable people.
Law Enforcement Notification (LEN) Specialists are responsible for preparing a detailed report on all cases requiring review by the End of Sentence Review Committee. The report will include information regarding the current offense, sex offense history, other criminal history, psychological history, treatment history, infractions during the current incarceration, employment history, adolescent conduct problems, and relationship history.
In addition they make recommendations for additional conditions of community custody supervision as applicable. As part of the file review process, the Specialists conduct actuarial risk assessments utilizing the STATIC-99R and the MnSOST-R.
The Specialists also prepare narratives known as Law Enforcement Alerts (LEAs) on certain cases where the offender is required to register due to a Kidnapping or Unlawful Imprisonment conviction (involving a minor, not the child of the offender). Periodically LEAs are prepared on other serious violent offenses that although not sex offenses per se, involved sexual elements.
Upon completion of these reports/reviews, the information is shared with numerous criminal justice agencies prior to the offender’s release.