This according to leaked emails from Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention director John Diaz, stating that the county is planning a “phased closure of Seattle Prison,” to replace it with “prevention, diversion, rehabilitation and programs. risk reduction ”.
These planned closures come at a time when Seattle has seen a dramatic increase in violent crime and a record number of police officers transferring, retiring or leaving the Seattle Police Department. Two-thirds of departing officers said in their exit interviews that they were leaving because of the defamation of Seattle politicians.
Seattle City Council announced last week that it had voted to carry over 50% of the Seattle Police Department. This decision was not supported by Mayor Jenny Durkan and was described as reckless by SPD leader Carmen Best. The savings would come in the form of staff removed from their posts.
King County’s decision is spelled out in the response to COVID-19, but opponents point to data showing that prisoners released both locally and across the country continue to reoffend.
The downtown Seattle facility is one of the county’s largest mental health facilities, and the only one serving violent patients. This new ruling will likely add to the growing demand for unsolved mental health facilities presented by city, county or state officials.
Four separate shootings last night left three people dead and five injured in the Seattle area. One of the shootings took place near the Everspring Motel, which is a facility under the control of the Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program. The LEAD program, run by Lisa Dugaard and copied across the country by cities like New York for their bail reform measures, has also been linked to increased recidivism rates in Seattle. It was the second shootout near the facility.