OLYMPIA – Senate legislation passed today by the House will expand a proven state program that helps people re-enter their communities more successfully and productively.

SB 5893, sponsored by Sen. Claire Wilson (D-Auburn), aims to reduce recidivism by providing basic clothing, a one-time stipend, and transportation to all those exiting corrections programs.

“We see higher rates of productive re-entry and lower rates of recidivism when we provide basic necessities to help people succeed,” Wilson said. “When the mortality rate for newly released people is 18 times higher than average, there’s a clear need to protect that vulnerable population.”

The number of successful transitions would increase dramatically with the expansion of a stipend system that is currently limited to only a few exiting the corrections system. The stipend will now be provided to any individual upon release from custody, including people transitioning to the community under supervision, participating in graduated re-entry programs, taking part in the community parenting alternative program, or residing in re-entry centers and work release programs.

“Gate money was only being used for a small group of individuals,” Wilson said. “We have to make sure that everyone has the resources that they need to re-enter the community.”

Having already passed the Senate, SB 5893 now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee to be signed into law.