Politics & Government

More control sought over ex-convicts

GOP lawmakers and victim advocates stepped up their call Wednesday for more effective community supervision of ex-convicts, saying the state is lax in dealing with dangerous felons after they leave prison.

"It's time to change the way we handle prisoners when they go in and when they get out," Senate Republican Leader Mike Hewitt told a rally at the Capitol.

Several victims' families and victims' advocate Jim Hines of Gig Harbor said supervision is spotty and ex-cons often reoffend.

"What we're doing now just isn't working. ... Our prisons have become revolving doors," said Hewitt, whose district includes the state prison complex at Walla Walla.

The issue has gained heightened attention in the Legislature this session, in part because of three cases last year in which ex-convicts were implicated in the deaths of Seattle-area law-enforcement officers.

In December, Gov. Chris Gregoire ordered a review of the community supervision system and said, "We need a course correction."