Isn't it marvelous. But the County doesn't view it as *just* a revenue problem, for Pete's sake. It's a great thing to have fewer inmates, and they know it; however, it does put a hole in a budget. It just does. I'm sure they'd rather have this revenue problem than the one overcrowding used to cause. I really loved the details the reporting added about the competition among jails for inmates that gave rise to Claudia Balducci's joke.

But without the context the writer gathered, it sure does make the joke easy to mock, so well done there. You don't like reporter Keith Ervin's work or something?
@1: Maybe I read the piece too fast, but I didn't see anything in there from county officials saying this is a great problem to have.
How about they convert the prison space to a treatment facility? You'd have to do some possibly extensive remodels, but it seems like a reasonable retrofit of existing space. Only 1 room per person, no locking doors, a communal area that has dining facilities...

...or maybe this would just turn out like Once Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest.
What ever happened to the new jail they were going to force upon Seattle? That has to be a lot of saved money there, if it doesn't need to be built. Tell me they aren't still building it.
this is the biggest story of the year!
And a question: Who pays the jail fees? If they're concerned about loss in revenue, who does this revenue come from? Isn't it us?
Eli, I think your theory on I-75 doesn't really hold up. The article focuses on the decrease of county-responsible inmates--inmates who are there for felonies or for misdemeanors in which KCSO or WSP was the arresting agency. Although I-75 probably has a small secondary affect on those numbers, it doesn't directly affect those numbers. I-75 doesn't apply to KCSO or WSP officers. And to the extent that SPD follows it, it only to misdemeanor possession.

I think one of the big reasons for the drop is the County's response to the past budget cuts. The tightening of filing standards and making fewer drug and property crimes qualify for felonies must have had an impact on jail occupancy.
Because of budget cutbacks, the prosecutorhas laid off lawyers and stopped filing possession of drug cases involving small amounts of drugs and stopped filing theft cases that are somewhat above the felony threshold. Those cases are now filed in municipal and district court as misdemeanors and the great majority of these cases don't result in sentences that include jail time. Under the felony sentencing laws, many of these would have to be sentenced to jail. Now in superior court mostof the cases are much more serious and when there is a conviction, the judge must sentence to prison, not jail.
@5: I totally agree.
@2, Eli, the reporter didn't cover the angle you're drawing conclusions about at all, though. He wrote about the revenue hole, not about the County's overall view. You assume that means the County doesn't value arrest reductions as highly as jail beds. For my part, I assume they're not that shortsighted, based not on reporting, but on their usually not being that shortsighted.

But I'm not a professional writer, just an avid reader. Look, maybe you could just pick up your phone and press "call" next to Dow's name. But I kind of think you know what he'll confirm for you, don't you?



You have no choice.
#10: Departments of corrections thrive off full jail beds. They want nothing more. In California, the prison union was by far the top financier to oppose Prop 5, which would have replaced nonviolent drug-related prison terms with treatment. They spend millions lobbying for prison sentences for drug crimes and longer prison sentences overall.

It sounds like urban legend, but it's not. These people get rich off of taking away as many people's freedom as possible.…
@12, of course, but the question here isn't about the County DOC's view, it's about the County's overall.
@12 is correct.

Basically, we provide cheap prison labor from the cities to the welfare queen Republics in the suburbs.


Thanks for reminding me of at least one reason why I'm wary of unions.
Cause you don't have to jail someone if you shoot and kill him?
The County complains there aren't enough prisoners. Meanwhile, the Seattle School District is freaking out because there are too many students. I'm having a double bourbon on the rocks and rereading my George Orwell.
Maybe they could ask for volunteers?

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