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About the Sentencing Guidelines Commission

Mission

The Commission promotes accountability and equity in adult and juvenile sentencing, provides accurate and timely information about sentencing, and recommends improvements in the criminal justice system.

Statutory Mandate

The Sentencing Guidelines Commission derives its authority from the Sentencing Reform Act of 1981, RCW Chapter 9.94A, which directs the Commission to advise the Governor and the Legislature on issues relating to adult and juvenile sentencing policies and practices and recommend modifications to the Governor and the Legislature as necessary.

Membership

The Sentencing Guidelines Commission consists of 20 voting members and four non-voting members. Learn more about current members ...

Sentencing Guidelines Commission Bylaws

The presiding officer of the sentencing guidelines commission denominated the “chairperson” shall be appointed by the governor. Read more

Overview of Sentencing

The first step in determining what sentence to apply in a particular case involves identifying the seriousness level of the offense for which the defendant was convicted. Crimes included within each seriousness level are listed in RCW 9.94A.515. The sentencing guidelines grid displays the seriousness levels for felony offenses on its vertical axis RCW 9.94A.510. Read more

Sentencing Reform Act: Historical Background

In 1981, the Washington State Legislature enacted the Sentencing Reform Act (SRA), which established the Sentencing Guidelines Commission and directed it to recommend to the Legislature a determinate sentencing system for adult felonies. Read more ...

Goals of the Sentencing Reform Act

The SRA was enacted to help make the criminal justice system more accountable to the public by developing a sentencing system that structures or guides, but does not eliminate, the use of judicial discretion in sentencing adult felony offenders. Read more

How to file a public records request

We prefer requests be made in writing, e-mail or fax so both parties have a record of the contact. If this is not possible, we will be pleased to discuss a request over the telephone and place it in writing for the requester. Request a public record ...

Sentencing Guidelines Commission Bylaws

The presiding officer of the sentencing guidelines commission denominated the “chairperson” shall be appointed by the governor. Read more