By Mitch Ryals
Published in The Inlander on November 17, 2015
“Washington state’s community supervision program is one area of the criminal justice system where those who enforce violations were allowed a fair amount of discretion.
“In 2012, a new law stripped officers of their discretion by requiring at least one to three days in jail for low-level violations such as missing a check-in appointment or failing a drug test. The new policies, known as Swift and Certain, also adjusted punishment to be more proportional to the violation. These policies, which went into effect in May 2012, had never before been implemented on a statewide level. ”
Read more: Changes to community supervision in Washington state are reducing recidivism and saving money
By Mitch Ryals
Published in The Inlander on November 12, 2015
“When Spokane County Prosecutor Larry Haskell took office in January, he found a drawer with more than 370 unresolved juvenile cases from the previous county prosecutor, Steve Tucker. Under Tucker, certain cases were kept out of the courtroom, allowing prosecutors and defense attorneys to find reasonable compromises without necessarily tossing every kid into the juvenile justice system.
“Under Haskell, that’s changed.
“For county prosecutors, clearing the backlogged cases represents a commitment to by-the-book prosecution. Haskell, who denies that his office is moving away from a rehabilitative bent, points out that there is nothing in Washington state law explicitly saying that the juvenile justice system is supposed to be rehabilitative.”
Read more: Kid’s Court: Local defense attorneys have noticed a change in Prosecutor Larry Haskell’s juvenile justice system
Editorial Published in The Spokesman Review on October 25, 2015
“It’s not unusual to hear social justice advocates and defense attorneys call for criminal justice reform, but on Wednesday more than 130 prominent prosecutors and police officials from around the country joined the movement.
“This group, called Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, pinpointed its concerns in a USA Today op-ed, writing, ‘Our experience and research show that good crime control policy is not about locking up everyone. It’s about locking up the right people.'”
Read more: Jailing not always smart justice
By Mitch Ryals
Published in The Inlander on September 09, 2015
“In a country that incarcerates more people awaiting trial than any other in the world — about 500,000 people on any given day, according to the National Institute of Corrections — the consequences of lockup, even for a few days, are well established. People lose jobs and the ability to pay back their debts. They’re kicked out of their homes. Parents lose custody of children. Their mental health deteriorates. Some die.
“The Inland Northwest is no exception to the national trend. Half of the Spokane County Jail’s population in 2014 was people awaiting trial, and a one-day snapshot in June of this year reveals that 440 out of 610 inmates — 72 percent — were held on bail. Similarly, a one-day snapshot of Kootenai County’s jail population reveals that 74 percent were accused, but not convicted.”
Read more: The Price of Freedom
By Jacob Jones
Published in The Inlander on November 19, 2014
“Each story swerves from despair to hope, sometimes several times. As men and women step to the microphone at the Smart Justice Symposium on Saturday, they share troubling testimony of criminal childhoods, institutional injustice, abuse and often redemption.
“But each story eventually reaches a tipping point in which the narrator gets a new chance or embraces a revelation. Every speaker took advantage of treatment and now works with community groups to reform the criminal justice system. The crowd of nearly 300 symposium attendees applauds when the speakers share that they have since left probation, graduated college, or stayed seven years sober.”
Read more: Troubled Tales – Smart Justice works to leverage personal stories into policy reforms
By Rachel Alexander
Published in The Spokesman Review on November 08, 2014
“Adler is one of two keynote speakers at Spokane’s upcoming Smart Justice Spokane Community Symposium on Nov. 15 at the Gonzaga University School of Law. The symposium, organized by a coalition of local advocacy and community groups, will bring people together to talk about addressing root causes of crime and continuing to implement reforms in law enforcement.
“The symposium is free and open to the public, though preregistration is encouraged to make sure there are enough meals.”
Read more: Symposium on tested, creative justice reform aims to maintain local momentum
By Vauhini Vara
Published in The New Yorker on October 20, 2014
“In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that California’s prisons, which were then at nearly two-hundred-per-cent capacity, were so overcrowded that detaining anyone in them was a form of cruel and unusual punishment and a violation of constitutional rights.
“Next month, Californians will vote on Proposition 47, an initiative led by the San Francisco district attorney and a former San Diego police chief, which would try to reach the 137.5 per cent overcapacity threshold by changing certain crimes from felonies, which often result in sentences served in state prisons, into misdemeanors, for which county jail time, county supervision, a fine, or some combination of the three is more common.”
Read more: The Rehabilitation of California’s Ballot Measure
By Nicholas Deshais
Published in The Spokesman Review on August 5, 2014
“Spokane Mayor David Condon said Monday the city would join a nationwide trend to ‘ban the box’ and no longer ask city job applicants about their criminal background.
“With the move, Spokane joins almost 70 other cities and counties in choosing to ignore an applicant’s criminal history if it doesn’t pertain to the job at hand.”
Read more: Spokane joining nationwide ‘ban the box’ trend