Tag Archives: King County Executive Dow Constantine

Seattle/King County finally have a plan to address repeat offenders: Will cost just an additional $5M taxpayer dollars

I’m no bureaucrat but couldn’t law enforcement and judges just enforce current laws and hand out stricter sentences rather than releasing these perps? Yet that solution wouldn’t allow these progressive politicians to abuse more taxpayer dollars.

As I’ve told you in many posts, the Seattle/King County area is notorious for releasing repeat offenders. These repeat offenders have one thing in common – homelessness.

A report released this past March showed that of the 100 repeat violent offenders in the study, ALL were drug addicts and homeless. Around 40 percent had severe mental illness. A month after the report was released, 40 of the violent offenders had been arrested again and booked in jail, for a total of 43 times.

Seattle and King County already spend MILLIONS (around $200M annually; the 2019/2020 budget is even more) of taxpayer dollars to try and solve the homeless crisis.

But that’s not enough money. It’s NEVER ENOUGH.

Apparently the local bureaucrats have finally started to listen to their constituents and are now proposing a new idea to address the repeat offender crisis that results in criminals going through the revolving door of the King County Jail: A $5.4 million “suite of programs” to end this cycle.

Excerpts from the Seattle Times story about this brilliant new plan:

“Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes, along with county Executive Dow Constantine and County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, announced four programs focused on providing more places for this population to get treatment, as well as more incentives for them to seek that treatment.

In response, Durkan this spring convened a work group that included members of law enforcement, courts and public health. Thursday’s recommendations are a partial outcome from that work group, but many of the measures will need to be approved as part of upcoming city and county budgets.

The recommendations would cost the city almost $3 million, while the county would kick in $2.4 million. The programs could come online late this year or in early 2020, Durkan and Constantine promised.

The proposals are focused on trying to close gaps in the system that prevent these offenders from getting treatment and services, and not merely locking them up, as some have called for.

“Simply going with an incarceration model is not going to cure the high rates that we’re seeing,” said City Attorney Pete Holmes. “That is appropriate for certain populations but it’s not going to solve the problems that we see on a larger scale on our streets.”

The city and county said they will work together to fund a 60-bed treatment center, with case-management and behavioral-health services available, in the West Wing of the King County Jail at a cost of $4 million for capital, and $800,000 for annual operations — costs that will be split evenly between the city and county. A low-barrier homeless shelter has been open in the jail since the spring.

Durkan also proposed putting $170,000 toward a new probation program in Seattle Municipal Court focused on interventions such as shortening sentences for an offender who’s willing to get into treatment; this would be in addition to $120,000 from Seattle Municipal Court.

The mayor has also proposed hiring an additional assistant city attorney focused on overseeing these efforts and assessing whether they work, at a cost of $150,000.

You can read the whole story here and how they plan to meet the needs of the law-abiding citizens criminal population.

Do you really believe that these bureaucrats are going to be able to solve their repeat offender situation for just $5.4 million when they can’t even put a dent in their homeless crisis with $200 million?

I wouldn’t bet $10 on that because that’s a guaranteed loser bet.

DCG

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