Bill that would End Harmful Juvenile Points Sentencing from Adult Sentencing Calculations Passes Washington State House of Representatives with Broad Tribal, Community Support

News Release: 
Tuesday, February 13, 2024
Feb. 13, 2023 
Contact Information: Molly Quinton, ACLU of Washington, [email protected]     
SEATTLE – On Feb. 13, the Washington State House of Representatives passed House Bill 2065, which retroactively eliminates the use of juvenile points in adult sentencing calculations, stopping the practice of automatically punishing people twice for crimes they committed as children. If it becomes law, this could impact up to 1,437 Washingtonians currently serving additional time for crimes they committed as children. 
In the 2023 session, the Legislature prospectively eliminated the automatic use of juvenile points in sentencing. HB 2065 would make last year’s legislation retroactive and aligns the judicial system with established science around brain development and adolescent behavior, reflects best practices in sentencing, and begins to rectify the vast racial disparities in Washington’s sentencing system.  
Juvenile points are a driver of racial disproportionality in sentencing, and Indigenous people and tribal communities are the most disproportionately impacted by juvenile points in Washington state. HB 2065 is supported by the 57 Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians as well as 21 Tribes and Indigenous Organizations in Washington State. In September, the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians unanimously called upon the Washington State Legislature to retroactively end this practice. 
Dr. Chelsea Moore, smart justice policy program director for ACLU-WA, had this reaction: 
“By taking retroactivity out of the bill last year, its impact was substantially minimized, leaving hundreds of people behind. The underlying concerns with racial equity and proportionality apply with equal force to old sentences and new ones. If Washington decides that a law is unjust going forward, it must apply to those already impacted. We are thrilled that HB 2065 is moving forward and will continue to work with formerly and currently incarcerated allies to pass this bill out of the Senate.”