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Sen. Hargrove to lead review of state’s criminal justice system

Sen. Jim Hargrove, D-Hoquiam, will help lead a new task force focused on informed decision-making in Washington’s criminal justice system, Senate Democrats announced last week.

Hargrove, described by party leaders as a longtime advocate of the use of evidence-based practices in criminal justice spending, was appointed co-chairman of the Justice Reinvestment task force by Gov. Jay Inslee.

Inslee announced and convened the first meeting of the task force on June 24. The bipartisan group of state leaders will complete a data-driven review of the state’s criminal justice system and identify new strategies to reduce crime and recidivism, hold offenders accountable and focus efforts on offenders that present the greatest threat.

“I have spent more than 20 years working to reduce criminal justice costs in this state,” said Hargrove,the ranking Democrat on the Senate Ways & Means Committee. “I like to be tough on crime by preventing it. We owe it to Washingtonians to ensure that our criminal justice spending is wisely invested to have the biggest impact on public safety.”

Washington is one of 22 states selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative and will receive assistance from the Council of State Governments on the use of evidence-based practices as a response to justice system population and cost drivers.

“This task force offers another chance to make sure we are putting our dollars into programming that reduces recidivism and prevents future crime,” Hargrove said.

 

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