OLYMPIA – Money sent to people incarcerated in Washington prisons will no longer be subject to high deductibles because of Sen. Claire Wilson’s Senate Bill 5131, signed into law Friday.  

Incarcerated people must pay money for items from the commissary, including basic necessities like soap, toothpaste, and foods to supplement their caloric intake.  

Many work to pay for those items, but the majority rely on families and friends to provide financial support.  

Money that comes from outside sources is currently subject to high deductions by the state Department of Corrections; only a fraction of those funds actually ends up in an individual’s account.  

SB 5131 exempts money for commissary items from the current required deductions.  

“This legislation ensures that money sent for commissary purchases actually reaches the people who need it,” Wilson (D-Auburn) said. “Not only will this ensure people in our correctional institutions can more easily access basic needs items but reduce strain on families on the outside, which is critical to reducing recidivism upon release.”  

SB 5131 goes into effect July 23.