Criminal Justice

Publications

Seattle Employers Could Soon Face Legal Dilemma When Hiring New Workers

January 30, 2013 in Publications

The Seattle Times published this column on January 30, 2013.

Seattle is often the incubator for bad business policy. In 2011, the city became one of the few in the nation to mandate paid sick leave for all workers. Now the Seattle City Council is considering an ordinance that would make Seattle one of the few to restrict employers’ ability to conduct criminal-background checks on potential employees.

Seattle Proposal Seeks to Restrict Employers' Access to Criminal Records for Background Checks

December 5, 2012 in Publications

Key Findings

Proposal Would Weaken Three Strikes Law

April 7, 2009 in Publications

Lawmakers in Olympia are considering a proposal to change the state’s Three-Strikes-You’re-Out law by removing second degree robbery from the list of criminal offenses that count as a strike.

More Gun Control Won't Reduce Violence

January 16, 2007 in Publications

A recent P.I. editorial agrees with Mayor Nickels’ call for more gun control, saying “the legal system could do a lot more to control guns. ”There’s just one problem with this approach – it won’t work.

Legal Gun Ownership Saves Lives

May 17, 2006 in Publications

It’s an age-old story. A criminal shoots someone, and then politicians propose gun-control measures that would have done nothing to prevent the shooting. On March 26, Kyle Huff killed six people at a late-night party in Seattle. Seattle mayor Greg Nickels immediately called for more regulations on guns. None of his proposals would have prevented the tragedy.

Prison Health Care: Healing a Sick System through Private Competition

April 15, 2003 in Publications

The primary function of government is to protect the lives, liberty and property of its citizens. Public safety is thus essential to the continuance of civil society. Public safety depends on a reliable and effective criminal justice system, and central to the administration of justice is a humane, secure and efficient prison system.

Private Prisons Would Help Lawmakers Get Soaring Costs Under Control

March 18, 2003 in Publications

The single most important problem our state legislators face this year is the need to pass a balanced budget. Right now lawmakers are looking for any means possible to close the projected budget gap, by boosting taxes and fees, trimming planned spending increases, or some combination of both.

Private Prisons and the Public Interest: Improving Quality and Reducing Costs through Competition

February 25, 2003 in Publications

The cost of maintaining Washington’s state-run prison system is becoming increasingly unsustainable. The state Department of Corrections budget has more than doubled over the last ten years, rising from $502 million in the 1991-1993 biennium to $1,072 million in the current biennium. Corrections costs rose more than 12.3% over the last two years, a rate more than four times faster than inflation. The increasing cost of operating the state prison system has outpaced the rise in total General Fund spending in every biennium in the 1990s, and is now one of the fastest growing areas of state spending.

Private Prisons and the Public Interest: Improving Quality and Reducing Cost through Competition

February 15, 2003 in Publications

The primary function of government is to protect the lives, liberty and property of its citizens. Public safety is thus essential to the continuance of civil society. Public safety depends on a reliable and effective criminal justice system, and central to the administration of justice is a humane, secure and efficient prison system.

Private Prisons: A Sensible Solution

August 17, 2001 in Publications

The prison system in Washington state is being severely stretched by overcrowding, threatening the safety of the staff, the inmates and the surrounding communities. State run facilities average 141% of design capacity, housing over 4,800 more prisoners than originally planned. At the local level, city and county jails throughout the state are at 110% of design capacity.