Washington Alcohol and Crime Briefs

December 2013

  • SB 5912 modifies provisions that address impaired driving and increases the penalties for impaired driving, including: increased use of ignition interlock devices, increased terms of community custody, and prohibits courts from deferring sentences for alcohol and drug violators.

December 2012

  • Declaring that it’s time to bring Spokane County’s criminal justice system into the 21st Century, a broad coalition of Spokane-area citizen organizations has announced its commitment to work for major reforms in how local law enforcement agencies and courts handle non-violent offenders. The coalition’s new campaign, “Smart Justice Spokane,” is a concerted effort to push reforms that have been proven to reduce crime rates while easing the pressure on already crowded jails, like the one in Spokane County. The campaign launch was augmented by a presentation from Dr. Douglas Marlowe, a national expert on the advantages of treatment over incarceration. He spoke in September about how reforms can improve public safety, strengthen communities, and save tax dollars.
    More information about the coalition can be found on the Center For Justice website.

January 2012

  • The Seattle City Council and Washington State Department of Corrections launched a pilot program for offenders February 2011, the Washington Intensive Supervision Program (WISP). Based upon the Hawaii Opportunity Probation with Enforcement (HOPE) program, it appears to be reducing drug use and costs. Traditionally, offenders who test positive for drugs on probation faced a lengthy violation hearing process and 30 to 90 days in jail. WISP offenders face 48 to 72 hours, but are sentenced shortly after being caught. The swift and certain sanctions appear to be making a difference. Offenders participating in the program “were two-thirds less likely to test positive in randomly assigned drug tests than offenders in a control group.” More information »

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