Three weeks ago, the FBI released crime data for every major city and metropolitan area in the United States. The data shows that while Seattle has very low rates of violent crime compared to other cities, Seattle has the highest property crime rate per capita of any major city in the United States. That is 4 times the property crime rate per 100,000 residents of New York City, and 2.5 times the rate of Boston or Los Angeles.
The City Attorney is the senior elected official responsible for the operation of Seattle's criminal justice system, including prosecution of most of the property crime that occurs in the city, like car prowl. But the criminal justice system is badly broken and the results after 8 years of Pete Holmes speak for themselves.
Right now, the incumbent City Attorney declines to file almost half (46%) of all non-traffic criminal cases that Seattle police send to his office. For the cases that his office does file, most defendants cycle through the system without any intervention that will help change their behavior or address their underlying issues.
Unfortunately, 88 percent of repeat offenders booked and in the criminal justice system on misdemeanor charges are struggling with addiction. A majority are also struggling with homelessness and about one-third face mental health challenges. But Seattle's criminal justice system offers these defendants no meaningful treatment options or social services to address their underlying challenges. The result is a streets-to-jail cycle that fails both defendants and neighborhoods.
I've got a plan to break the streets-to-jail cycle by transforming Seattle's criminal justice system to focus on meaningful behavioral health interventions:
Seattle needs fresh leadership with a new vision for how to tackle our public safety challenges. That is why progressive leaders, the Seattle Firefighters union, and the Seattle Times have endorsed Scott: "Scott Lindsay has better ideas to address the crisis, and the policy chops to put them in place."