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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Speakers: Bigger jail may not be needed

A Seattle University law professor told Spokane’s Rotary Club 21 on Thursday that Spokane County’s new jail needs to be only as big as its legal policies. Robert Boruchowitz told the Rotarians that the current $200 million plan for a new jail is not needed if local prosecutors and law enforcement embrace treatment alternatives.

Lawyer to assess charging process

A longtime Florida prosecutor will visit the Spokane County prosecutor’s office next month to look for ways to speed up charging decisions. Criminal justice consultant David Bennett said Wednesday that attorney Randy McGruther will conduct the study May 3-5.

Tucker tepid about office review

Prosecutor Steve Tucker doesn’t know the guy’s name or where he’s from, but he’s hoping that the “professional prosecutor” found by a consultant can help Spokane County solve a worsening problem of releasing crime suspects back into the community because his office is unable to file necessary paperwork. “I’m not too much in favor of hiring more consultants,” Tucker said. “That money could be used hiring attorneys back and getting them back to work here.”

Deadlines bedevil Spokane County prosecutor’s office

Efforts to reduce Spokane County’s jail needs through swift justice have hit a “significant roadblock” in the prosecutor’s office, commissioners were told Tuesday. Once again, jail consultant David Bennett told commissioners, the prosecutor’s office is regularly failing to file formal charges within 72 hours.

Fast justice is best for small-time offenders

In many people’s minds, an ideal criminal justice system is one that locks lawbreakers up for as long as possible and makes them miserable in the meantime. In some hard-core cases, that’s a pretty good plan.

Minorities overrepresented among felony convictions

With the presidential election sparking a renewed discussion of race, local officials struggle to explain why minorities in Spokane County face higher conviction rates than white residents. Statistics show that in Spokane County this year, black residents are eight times more likely to be convicted of a felony than a member of the 92-percent white majority.