Law and justice Council

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Law and justice Council

Historical Information

In 1993, the State Legislature charged the county law and justice committee with the following responsibilities and authorities:
  1. Develop a local law and justice plan for Skagit County; design the elements and scope of the plan, subject to final approval by the Board of County Commissioners. The general intent of the plans hall include seeking means to maximize local resources, including personnel and facilities; reduction in duplication of services; and sharing of resources between local and state government in order to accomplish local efficiencies without diminishing effectiveness.

  2. The plan developed by the law and justice council shall include a section on jail management, which may include the following elements:
    a. A description of current jail conditions, including whether the jail is overcrowded;
    b. A description of potential alternatives to incarceration;
    c. A description of current jail resources;
    d. A description of the jail population as it presently exists and how it is projected to change in the future;
    e. A description of projected future resource requirements;
    f. A proposed action plan, which shall include recommendations to maximize resources, maximize the use of intermediate sanctions, minimize overcrowding, avoid duplication of services, and effectively manage the jail and offender population;
    g. A list of proposed advisory jail standards and methods to effect periodic quality assurance inspections of the jail;
    h. A proposed plan to collect, synthesize, and disseminate technical information concerning local criminal justice activities, facilities, and procedures;
    i. A description of existing and potential services for offenders, including employment services, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and housing referral services.

  3. The council may propose other elements of the plan, which shall be subject to review and approval by the county legislative authority prior to their inclusion into the plan.

  4. The county legislative authority may request technical assistance in developing or implementing the plan from other units or agencies of state or local government, which shall include the Department of Corrections, the Office of Financial Management, and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

August: Corrections Facilities Planning Retreat
The goal of this retreat was to have brief presentations on various topics relevant to issues facing the jail and to bring together various law enforcement and social services entities to discuss a plan for jail expansion over the next two decades.

April: Corrections Facilities Planning Retreat
The goal of this retreat was to clarify the status of the master plan, identify options, provide input to recommendations, and to identify criteria for evaluation of options.

February: Community Planning Retreat for the Community Justice Center
The goal of this retreat was to hold focused discussion groups. Desired outcomes of these groups were: outline activities for the next 12 month - what has to be done to take this project to the next level; refine the case for support; and identify people who can help carry the message.