News Mar 20, 2023 at 11:45 am

Activists Demand Closure as the County Moves to Shuffle Prisoners

A couple different perspectives on the same hell. Photos: RS. Design: Anthony Keo.



Don't want to get sent to Iowa? Don't do the crime!


The Stranger loves them some criminals. That’s a great hill to die on.


I'm not sure why we are funding a $150,000 study. It doesn't appear as if it is information any of the stakeholders intend to rely upon.


@2: Not always. Folks who pass out in bars or in public and nobody knows what to do get taken to jail on a trespassing charge. Folks in a domestic violence dispute where facts are unclear to the police can end up in jail. There are additional examples.

Nice reporting, Ashley.


@6 Not to mention people waiting for their trial.

The idea of housing convicted criminals serving sentences in the same facility as people awaiting trial is absurd. The people waiting for trial are still innocent in the eyes of the law and should be segregated from those who have been found guilty and are serving sentences.

Perhaps we could temporarily transfer those serving sentences to the department of corrections to make room for the others.

Any long-term solution would be an example of how reforming our criminal justice system is actually going to be more expensive as what we really need is three facilities. A Spartan one for those convicted, an accesible, but secure, one for those awaiting trial, and a padded one for the whackadoodles. Or the summer of 2020 when we should have doubled the size of the SPD while simultaneously funding the rapid expansion of the SFD's Health One.


@1 Des Moines as in South King County not Iowa. Do you even live around here?


@8 you really are without a sense of humor.


@9 for the win......but we already knew it was humorless.


Hmm. Fentanyl use increases and deaths in the county jails increase... causation or correlation?

After our brilliant Silly Counsel experiment of "defund and debase the police"... golly its harder and harder to hire both police and jail personnel... causation or correlation? Got to go with direct correlation on that one!

Now that the political winds have shifted, we are prosecuting crimes again as opposed to letting them go free range all over the city, it appears we are going to need bigger jails, and we will need more jailers. Betting drop the study and just increase the budget.

......Or we could start to deal with the main underlying issue.... substance abuse and get these poor devils treatment.


@11 City and County are different. City of Seattle almost deals almost entirely with misdemeanors, King County felonies. (The jail houses both, and the City contracts with the County's public defenders to provide defense in municipal court cases, since city does not have its own public defenders.)

I assume you are referring to the City, since it is the City that has had a recent change in prosecutorial leadership and new policies.

If you go below the top-level "time to charges filed" data, you will see that the City is not in fact successfully prosecuting any more crimes, and its dismissal rate is now through the roof (which is what happens when you make your rank-and-file prosecutors file charges before they even interview witnesses).

End result? City is paying to put more people in jail (not prison, jail!) for weeks or months, before dismissing the cases for lack of witnesses/evidence/etc. Worst of both worlds, but Ann Davison can claim she's doing something... when really she's just juking the stats and lighting money on fire.

Please wait...

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