County Commissioners Assume Control of Detention Facilities - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

County Commissioners Assume Control of Detention Facilities

Posted: Updated:
***Press release from Spokane County Sheriff's Office***
 
SPOKANE COUNTY, February 27, 2013 – This afternoon, the Spokane County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to take over operation of the county's detention facilities (Spokane County Jail and Geiger Corrections Center), effective June 1, 2013.  The change in management was first proposed by Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich.  In May 2012, Sheriff Knezovich approached the County Commissioners with a proposal to restructure the Criminal Justice System by having the County Commissioners operate the County's Detention Services Division. 
 
The Sheriff's proposal called for the formation of a Detention Services Policy Board which would set the policy direction of the Detention Services for the community, similar to the Emergency Communications Board currently overseen by the County Commissioners.  The board would be comprised of representatives from municipal, county, judicial and law enforcement entities within Spokane County.
 
County Commissioner Al French said today's decision will make it easier to complete a comprehensive overhaul of the criminal justice system.  "We have had a seriously fragmented system between the county, cities, state corrections, elected officials, and labor organizations.  With approximately 70-percent of the county's $140-million general fund budget dedicated to law enforcement and criminal justice – we (the Board of County Commissioners) believe that having more control over how those funds are spent will encourage cooperation," French said.
 
Commissioner Todd Mielke stated, "I agree with the Sheriff's proposal and this is consistent with what we see in Yakima, Chelan and King Counties.  We need to have a financially sustainable criminal justice system that appropriately administers justice, reduces recidivism, and is sensitive to victim's rights.  It simply doesn't make sense for one set of elected officials to be responsible for the budgeting of these programs, and a separate elected official responsible for the day-to-day operations."
 
Commissioner Shelly O'Quinn said that today's board action is a positive step.  "The entire community is coming together to discuss the criminal justice system.  The trend nationwide is to institute reforms and alternatives to incarceration.  For example, pre-trial services, early case resolution, and therapeutic courts have already been implemented in Spokane County and are proving to be successful.  However, we think more can be done and Spokane County will continue to lead that effort," O'Quinn said.
 
Following this afternoon's vote Sheriff Knezovich said, "It is time to rethink how we deliver services to the community and to ensure all of the partners have an equal voice in these discussions.  Jail issues are a critical portion of the criminal justice system and one our community has been struggling with since 1995 when the Spokane County Jail was first identified as being overcrowded.  I hope that this change in administration will finally get all of the stakeholders involved and at the table to solve this issue for our community."
 
The Board action will also eliminate the dual leadership issues which arise from the finances of Detention Services being directed by the Board of County Commissioners and the operational direction being set by the Sheriff.  The current system makes it difficult for either branch of government to map out a cohesive vision for operation of the Spokane County Jail and Geiger Corrections Center.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • THROWBACK THURSDAY: Monsters of ROCK Comes To Spokane In 1988!

    THROWBACK THURSDAY: Monsters of ROCK Comes To Spokane In 1988!

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:00 PM EDT2014-04-18 00:00:41 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Throwback Thursday. 1988. Monsters of Rock. Joe Albi Stadium. Need we say more? One of the biggest rock and roll tours of the year made a stop in Spokane, bringing a number of notable bands including Van Halen, Metallica, Scorpions, Dokken and Kingdom Come.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Throwback Thursday. 1988. Monsters of Rock. Joe Albi Stadium. Need we say more? One of the biggest rock and roll tours of the year made a stop in Spokane, bringing a number of notable bands including Van Halen, Metallica, Scorpions, Dokken and Kingdom Come.
    >>
  • UPDATE: PHOTOS Of Sex Offenders Who Live In Kootenai County

    UPDATE: PHOTOS Of Sex Offenders Who Live In Kootenai County

    Wednesday, February 26 2014 6:50 AM EST2014-02-26 11:50:17 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Do you know who lives next to you, or in your neighborhood? KHQ has teamed up with local law enforcement agencies to keep you updated on sex offenders that may be living close to you. The latest photos are from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office website. All of the offenders have served their time and are not wanted by authorities.>>
    KHQ.COM - Do you know who lives next to you, or in your neighborhood? KHQ has teamed up with local law enforcement agencies to keep you updated on sex offenders that may be living close to you. The latest photos are from the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office website.>>
  • LOOKING FOR A HOME? 10 Homes For Sale In Spokane For $125,000

    LOOKING FOR A HOME? 10 Homes For Sale In Spokane For $125,000

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:56:12 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spring is a popular time to purchase and sell a home. Here are 10 homes for sale in Spokane for $125,000. These homes were found on www.WindermereSpokane.com. If you would like more information on any of these homes or would like to schedule a tour, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spring is a popular time to purchase and sell a home. Here are 10 homes for sale in Spokane for $125,000. These homes were found on www.WindermereSpokane.com. If you would like more information on any of these homes or would like to schedule a tour, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Third N. Spokane Fast Food Armed Robbery In Three Days

    Third N. Spokane Fast Food Armed Robbery In Three Days

    Thursday, April 17 2014 11:29 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:29:49 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police tell us they have taken two people of interest into custody following a robbery at the Shadle Park McDonald's. It's the third fast food restaurant robbery in the Spokane area in the last three days.The robbery happened at about 6 p.m. at the McDonald's near N. Belt St. and W. Wellesley Ave. Police tell us a man walked up to the Drive-Thru window, displayed a handgun, and grabbed cash from the till. He then ran from the scene. The robbery is similar to two others...>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Spokane Police tell us they have taken two people of interest into custody following a robbery at the Shadle Park McDonald's. It's the third fast food restaurant robbery in the Spokane area in the last three days.The robbery happened at about 6 p.m. at the McDonald's near N. Belt St. and W. Wellesley Ave. Police tell us a man walked up to the Drive-Thru window, displayed a handgun, and grabbed cash from the till. He then ran from the scene. The robbery is similar to two others...>>
  • Gruesome Murder Trial Continues In Spokane; Alex Rozier Reports

    Gruesome Murder Trial Continues In Spokane; Alex Rozier Reports

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-04-18 00:35:52 GMT
    SPOKANE, WA. – The murder trial for suspected killer Daniel Arteaga continued at the Spokane County Courthouse on Thursday as one of the lead investigators took the stand discussing evidence found the night of Kim Schmidt’s death. Arteaga is on trial for the murder of Schmidt, a 34 year old mother he dated for more than 6 years.>>
    SPOKANE, WA. – The murder trial for suspected killer Daniel Arteaga continued at the Spokane County Courthouse on Thursday as one of the lead investigators took the stand discussing evidence found the night of Kim Schmidt’s death. Arteaga is on trial for the murder of Schmidt, a 34 year old mother he dated for more than 6 years.>>
  • The Isaac Foundation Helping Those Dealing With Autism

    The Isaac Foundation Helping Those Dealing With Autism

    Thursday, April 17 2014 8:31 PM EDT2014-04-18 00:31:07 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - New numbers from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention show more children are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
    >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - New numbers from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention show more children are being diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. According to the CDC, autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in every 68 kids. There is no cure but therapy can help children with autism improve speech, motor skills and even their social interactions.
    >>