Spokane County in Eastern Washington is the home of Spokane, the state’s second-largest city and a center of business and trade for a vast area east of the Cascade Mountains. The county has experienced roughly a 40% increase in population since 1981.
Guided by the recommendations in the City and County-commissioned “Blueprint for Reform,” regional stakeholders have been working together to reform the local justice system since 2012. These efforts were further supported through the Safety and Justice Challenge Network and grant funding, first awarded to Spokane in 2015. Today, the Office of the Law and Justice Administrator manages ongoing reform efforts and works closely with City and County criminal justice offices, judges, law enforcement, and community members. In recognition of the progress and promise of work to date, Spokane County was awarded an additional $1.9 million from the Safety and Justice Challenge in 2019 to invest in strategies that will continue to responsibly reduce the average daily jail population over the next two years.
The long-term vision behind the region’s reform plan is to create a local justice system that serves all of Spokane’s residents fairly, equitably, and efficiently. These efforts will utilize multiple strategies designed to move Spokane toward evidence-based pretrial practices, increase diversion opportunities, and improve data collection and sharing to increase accountability and transparency with stakeholders and engage community members impacted by incarceration to support and guide reform initiatives.