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Governor Jay Inslee Signs Senate Bill 5694

April 20, 2022

By Brendan Baptiste Department of Corrections
Group of people surround Governor Inslee as he signs Senate Bill 5694

Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5694 while bill supporters looked on. (Photo courtesy of Office of the Governor)

Governor Jay Inslee has signed several key tribal-related bills into law. These policies were developed in collaboration with local tribes, legislators, attorney general, the governor’s office, and others. Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) recognizes its facilities are built on ancestral lands and customary territories and is committed to working with tribal partners to improve the lives of Indigenous People. Senate Bill 5694 is an example of how collaborating with local communities can benefit our neighbors across the state.

Senate Bill 5694 will allow the housing of incarcerated individuals, who are sentenced longer than one year after conviction under a tribal court, to be held in DOC facilities. The bill will provide a public safety benefit by allowing tribal court individuals to serve felony sentences in appropriate facilities where there is access to rehabilitative services. This will also relieve the stress from local jail facilities who may be ill-equipped to house individuals from tribal courts long term.

Nancy Dufraine, DOC’s Director of Tribal Relations, was on hand to witness the signing of the bill by the Governor at Tulalip Resort Casino. Dufraine says the bill represents another level of DOC’s commitment to government-to-government relations to serve tribes and their citizenship. “The ability to meet the needs of our sovereign tribes with justice involved individuals and provide opportunities to these individuals to engage in programming that can lead them to a better future helps to keep all communities safe.”

To read the full text of the bill, visit