Criminal Justice | Real Solutions for Spokane

"We can decrease over-crowding,
create a more efficient criminal justice system,
have a better working environment for our judges and citizens, 
while not spending any more of the taxpayer’s money!

I will be the Mayor to innovate and create real solutions for the challenges facing Spokane." 

With all the discussion about a new County Jail, it is time we discuss our criminal justice system. You can read about my thoughts on police and fire in my Public Safety article.

The City of Spokane created its own Municipal Court system in 2009. Since then, the Spokane Municipal Court has been recognized as a leader across the country... and we can do more!

The first thing we need to do is make the Community Court permanent, and add it as a permanent fixture in municipal code to ensure that this innovative court is part of our justice system forever.

The city has prosecutors, public defenders, probation officers and judges. We have courtrooms that are inadequate, outdated and lacking privacy for defendants. All of the different departments either own or lease their own space. We send all misdemeanor convictions to the Spokane County Jail. In all, we spend over $4 million dollars a year on leases and space in the jail.

We need to consolidate misdemeanor services.

Consolidation of municipal services can be done for the same amount of money we are spending now. It will not only be more efficient for the defendants and staff, it will result in a better justice system. It will be one building with courtrooms, beds, and space for judges, prosecutors, public defenders and probation officers.

By sending misdemeanors to a system run by the city, we control who needs services and who doesn’t. Our system has already shown an ability to be innovative, and now all people charged with misdemeanors will be under our system. This will free up beds in the county system, reducing overcrowding, while keeping those who do not belong there in the municipal system. Other jurisdictions have already indicated their desire to use this facility for misdemeanor defendants.

We can decrease over-crowding, create a more efficient criminal justice system, have a better working environment for our judges and citizens, while not spending any more of the taxpayer’s money!

I will be the Mayor to innovate and create real solutions for the challenges facing Spokane. 

Thank you for your support,

Ben