by Ben Adlin
On Wednesday of last week, it was a felony in Washington to possess illegal drugs — even if you didn’t know you had them. A day later, it wasn’t. After a sweeping Washington Supreme Court ruling declared the state’s felony drug possession law unconstitutional, there’s currently no penalty on the books in Washington State for drug possession.
Continue reading With Washington’s Drug Possession Law Gone, Lawmakers at Odds Over Next Steps
by Carolyn Bick
When lawyer Courtney Hudak walked up to the King County Correctional Facility on Seattle’s 5th Avenue just before 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 31 to make a professional visit to protestors who had been detained, following Saturday’s protests against systemic racism and police brutality, the last thing she expected was for the doors to be locked. But they were.
Continue reading The Day After Saturday’s Protests, Lawyers Were Denied Access to Detained Protestors at King County’s Seattle Jail
by Erica C. Barnett
(This article was previously published on The C is for Crank and has been reprinted with permission.)
More than six weeks after the Seattle-based Public Defender Association (PDA) launched its Co-LEAD program in Burien, the diversion program has come home to Seattle and began serving five homeless clients last week. Co-LEAD provides hotel rooms, case management, and other basic supports to people experiencing homelessness who have been in the criminal justice system and lack legal options for making money during the COVID-19 pandemic. After launching the program in Burien in April, the PDA had hoped to enroll some of the people who were dispersed throughout the city during several recent encampment sweeps, but were unable to do so because the city moved ahead with the removals before Co-LEAD case workers could identify and enroll new participants.
Continue reading Co-LEAD Allowed to Start Moving People From Seattle Streets Into Hotels, Too Late to Help Those Removed in Last Three Sweeps
This is a letter Budget for Justice sent to the city of Seattle. It is reprinted with permission.
For years, Budget for Justice (BfJ) organizations have been doing the restorative and transformative justice work our communities need. Despite repeated acknowledgement and talk, the City of Seattle has, also for years, allowed this work to remain unfunded or underfunded. We have been doing the work longer than the recommendations of many city work groups have existed. It is time for the City of Seattle to fund our work and to stop funding the harmful systems that make our work necessary. The criminal justice system causes disproportionate and irreparable harm.
Continue reading Budget for Justice Calls for ‘Ongoing, Real and Progressive Policy and System Change’