Cool. Show me “the rich mix of diversion options” we will be leaning on to be sure this transformation is a success?
The funniest part about this is the reference to the legal system. Under NKT there won’t be a need for a legal system. She’ll unilaterally decide what should be taken to trial based on her own subjective measure of equity and justice rather than evidence. Having a judicial system and invoking restorative justice are not mutually exclusive. Judges and juries will have full authority to utilize alternatives if the facts of the case warrant diversion. All of this is subverted if NKT is the city atty. No thanks!
I would love to see a successful restorative justice process for older offenders that is as effective as the programs that have kept juveniles out of the legal system, but suspect that a complete overhaul of the mental health and addiction programs will be required.
Still, please suggest a pilot program, at least, that will keep misdeamnor offenders out of the current expensive and unsuccessful legal system where we can get the data we all will need to gauge the benefit of a shift to a more egalitarian, restorative system and away from temporary incarceration, subsequent release and serial reoffence patterns.
"Misdemeanor" - sheesh, I'm an attorney but I don't practice criminal law...
"What are we buying at a cost of more than $60 million a year?"
For one, the 2020 Vera report linked in the article. For another, this money buys the Needs Based Sentencing Program, which is intended to address the very concerns the authors raise. This money also funds a host of services (and the employees who are required to provide them) intended to increase equality and access to justice, everything from interpreter services to fast-tracking victim protection measures in domestic violence cases.
The authors want it both ways, apparently. They wish to criticize budget allocations to SMC, but do not want to invest in the very same programs for which they advocate, such as identifying and correcting problems with Probation Services, expanding Needs Based Sentencing, growing Court Resource Services, and otherwise evolving our municipal court system.
Lol, yeah, like actually prosecute crimes (yes, even stealing carts full of stuff from Fred Meyer) and especially prosecute and incarcerate repeat repeat repeat repeat offenders.
I know, booo, so mean.
We have a legal system which works fairly well, but what we don't have is a punishment or rehab system component of the legal system which functions in any meaningful way to resolve the issue.
We talk about it, We study it. We dribble out compassion babble speeches about inequity. We lament what is happening...this slog is a good example... We implement half measures and throw money at the problem.
But we don't solve the problem.
The legal system seeks to recognize stealing, drug use, vagrancy, loitering etc is wrong. And it is, but it offers no solutions. Treatment can be mandated by the legal system, but the city must do something...which it has failed, repeatedly to do. (This is where the strength of our city council fails us every time.)
The solution of "not to prosecute" or acknowledge its a problem is worse than no solution.... its saying we give up...which is what I think the city council is saying with a minor twist...they want to blame the legal system for their failing and inaction.
I think we can let BIPOC skirt on misdemeanors if we start dealing with all the white tweaker junkies that comprise the majority of our thriving burglary, robbery, assault industry.
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