After years of worrying that King County jails would become packed beyond capacity — and telling cities they must send their misdemeanor inmates elsewhere — county officials now say they're facing a regional glut of jail space.
The piece only offers one theory:
One reason the county's inmate population has slid while many cities' numbers have not is the county has invested in drug and mental-health courts that emphasize treatment over incarceration, and in housing homeless people who are otherwise frequently jailed, County Council legislative analyst Clifton Curry said.
Interesting. Here's another theory to add to the mix: Initiative 75, which made small-time marijuana busts Seattle's lowest law enforcement priority.
Also: There is something very perverse about the county viewing this glut of jail beds as a revenue problem, instead of viewing it as great news:
Claudia Balducci, director designee of the King County Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention, quipped to a Metropolitan King County Council committee Tuesday, "We will not be undersold. We really need to fill our beds."