YWCA Spokane’s Legal Advocacy Manager, Amy, shares an important announcement affecting survivors of intimate partner violence.
Governor Inslee has ordered the release of some inmates throughout the Washington State prison system. These offenders are being released in order to allow for physical distancing to reduce the risk and spread of COVID-19.
Offenders being released under the order include:
- non-violent offenders,
- those who were to be released before 6/29/2020,
- and those being held on lower level probation violations.
This does and will affect our clients.
Many domestic violence cases resolve in a plea deal meaning that the offender often pleads to a lesser charge or a charge that is listed as “non violent”. Both an Assault In The 3rd Degree and Unlawful Possession of Firearm are non-violent under this provision.
It is important that survivors of domestic violence be informed about this order. We encourage survivors to sign up for Vinelink.com, even if their abuser is in custody on a non-domestic violence related charge. As far as we know, there has been no other notification system set up in our state to notify victims when their offender is released early.
YWCA Spokane is informing current clients of this order and will also be going through all of the released offenders in Spokane County to see if we can get in contact with victims through past police reports and case files.
Again, please refer anyone whose abuser is in custody to sign up for vinelink https://www.vinelink.
More information is also available through the Department of Corrections here.
YWCA Spokane Services During COVID-19
To stay up to date about YWCA’s services remaining available during this public health crisis, please visit our regularly updated page.