Shawn Vestal’s June 30 column, “Spokane Prosecutor Larry Haskell’s ‘get tough’ policies hinder successful drug court,” attempted to create an impression that the current reduced number of participants in drug court is solely due to my policies. This is not the case, and the Washington State University report from which he quotes bears this out. The headline and article are extremely misleading and fail to address other critical concerns addressed in the report that are detailed below. While campaigning in 2014, I promised the public that I would aggressively prosecute both violent and chronic property offenders, who have been out in our neighborhoods victimizing our citizens and businesses, sometimes almost immediately upon their release from jail or prison. I promised that where statutorily eligible and suitable, chronic offenders would be given treatment opportunities with the Department of Corrections; and we are doing that. My policies reflect legislative intent.
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