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The criminal justice process - Post sentencing

Learn what happens to offenders in the criminal justice process following sentencing.

The court’s sentence is recorded in the Judgement and Sentence document. The defendant, now called "offender", may immediately begin processing to serve their sentence.

In general, the offender will serve their sentence as follows:

  • Sentences of one year and longer in a corrections facility:
    Offenders will be transferred to the Department of Corrections for processing into prison.
  • Sentences of shorter than one year in a corrections facility:
    Offenders will most likely complete their time in the King County jail system.

Some sentences include the following conditions:

  • A post sentencing no-contact order protecting any victims and/or witnesses.
  • Community custody (formerly known as probation).
  • Treatment and evaluation requirements.

For more information about community custody and corrections programs please visit Washington State Corrections website.

Crime Victims

Many victims report that after the trial and sentencing have concluded they experience some of the trauma reactions that they experienced at the beginning of the process. For some victims, going through the criminal justice system prevented them from processing the totality of their trauma. Please consider reaching out for supportive services.

If a post sentencing criminal no-contact order was entered at sentencing, victims should obtain a copy from their victim advocate.

Victims of qualifying crimes who are concerned about the defendant’s release should register for the Victim Notification program through the Department of Corrections. This notification is not automatic, and victims and survivors must register.