News Oct 20, 2023 at 9:00 am

An Overstretched Criminal Legal System Braces to Absorb Hundreds of New Cases

Harrell's "war on health" kicks off today! Though, of course, possession of drugs has been illegal, and cops could have arrested for it this whole time, but whatever. AN



After reading this I’m glad many of us are in agreement. We need more jails, more mental health beds, more cops, and more medical staff to treat the addicted. And we need city leadership that is focused on using current financial resources more efficiently so we get incarceration and treatment facilities built and staffed.


"As a result, we can expect to continue to see people forced into ineffective mandatory treatment programs or caught in the disastrous and expensive criminal legal system, rather than see the City stand up evidence-based programs proven to reduce both public use and overdoses. "

Unfortunately the evidence based programs Ashley references (safe consumption sites) don't actually make the addiction crisis any better either. Yes they keep addicts alive by having someone on hand while they inject a deadly substance into their body and revive them if they overdo it however they do not compel any type of treatment nor do they do anything to assuage the other social ills that accompany the current scourge downtown. So in Ashley's world we'll provide a comforting space for people to attempt to kill themselves, revive them if they manage to actually do it and in the meantime the rest of us can put up with the assaults, petty crime, deterioration of public spaces and transit and overall loss of civility in the city. By the way we need to raise taxes to pay for all this.

Just a reminder, this is what The Strangers slate of candidates for city council believe as well. if you've had enough of enablement and want to regain some semblance of societal norms again please vote accordingly!


I gather the clampdown won't include the tech bros who snort coke or k or meth more or less every weekend. But, whatever: all you'll do at this late, late stage is make the sh*tty lives of poor, often homeless, addicts even worser and more complicated than they already are. Lock them in rehab for a month and you'll find that without access to stable housing and a decent income they'll be back on the road to death in a heartbeat.


Obviously we need to mass arrest and jail tech bros high on drugs, and cut off the dealers at the knees by drying up demand.

I recommend sending SWAT teams into higher income neighborhoods


@1: The sad part is locking up addicts will likely not help them. Neither has any policy the Stranger has advocated; those policies simply cost more. The Stranger’s chronic failure to admit this, obvious though it is to everybody else, simply drives public support for the exact incarnation-based policies the Stranger abhors.

@3: Why do you believe persons using drugs outdoors currently have “access to stable housing and a decent income”?

@4: Sure. We’ll send in the SWAT teams on the basis of nothing more than Slog comments. What’s your address?


It is about f***ing time! The drug vagrant crisis in Seattle is so absurd and destructive to everyone. I hope they give them an option between jail, mandatory treatment, and a bus ticket to go back to their community of origin.


Teresa Mosqueda in today's Seattle Times: "People are more likely to die while in jail due to withdrawal or die upon release due to overdoses,” she said. Addicts often leave or fail treatment programs, returning to the street to use drugs. Therefore, treatment increases the risk of death just as much as jail. Guess we should also oppose treatment. Do nothing and our hands are clean. (I'd like to see Mosqueda back up her claim about jails deaths due to withdrawal.)


@10: Here’s King County’s official numbers for deaths due to overdoses,

From 2019 through 2023, the total number of overdose deaths doubled, with the greatest increase amongst homeless persons. (Note 2023 isn’t over yet, and the numbers have already exceeded all of 2022.)

If CM Mosqueda is correct, and if SPD starts arresting much larger numbers of addicts, then we can expect a very much larger number of overdose deaths next year. If the arrest rate rises and the death rate doesn’t rise, or rises more slowly, then we might say the recriminalization of drugs had a positive effect.

The only thing we can say so far is Seattle/King County’s current policies are not helping the situation, and that’s putting it mildly. CM Mosqueda is one of the architects of those policies, so her expertise on this topic is questionable, at best.


@3: Any tech bros doing coke or meth on the weekends isn't going to do very well in their career, so that's why it's not very prevalent. But alcohol and weed, sure.

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