By Jake Thomas
Gov. Jay Inslee has unveiled his plan to reduce the state’s sky-high property crime rate (a problem present in Spokane) that’s based on the idea that repeat offenders should receive supervision and treatment.
According to the a press release from the governor’s office, the problem is that Washington sends repeat property offenders to prison for sentences that are two to three times longer on average than other states that have sentencing guidelines. However, when the offenders have done their time, they aren’t supervised, and, according to the governor’s office, there is research that shows that supervision and treatment are the most effective methods to reduce reoffending.
The problem, according to the report, is particularly bad in high-population areas. In fiscal year 2013, King County, which accounts for 29 percent of the state’s population, saw 33 percent of the state’s reported property crime. Spokane County, which accounts for 7 percent of the state’s population, saw 11 percent of its reported property crime.
If enacted, the plan, which has bipartisan support, would require a mandatory period of post-release supervision and treatment for property offenders.
The Washington State Institute for Public Policy, another think tank, found the plan would reduce crime by 1,000 victimizations annually and the number of people reoffending would fall by 13 percent. It would also save the state up to $290 million in corrections spending over a six-year period.
The plan is outlined outlined in a report by the Council of State Governments Justice Center, a think tank with offices in Seattle, Washington D.C. and elsewhere.