118 people responsible for more than 2,400 criminal cases in Seattle in the past five years. That’s who the City Attorney’s Office says it’s targeting for starters, as it launches the newest attempt to address frequent offenders, called the High Utilizer Initiative. The announcement from City Attorney Ann Davison says this program will “identify individuals responsible for repeat criminal activity across the City of Seattle and aims to dramatically reduce their public safety impacts” by prioritizing their cases to “ensure they have access to critical social safety programs.” The 118 initially identified people, according to Davison’s office, were charged with “theft (1,019 charges), trespassing (589 charges), assault (409 charges), or weapons violations (101 charges).” The program won’t involve domestic violence or DUI offenders, which the announcement says “are already the subject of additional attention.” Davison is quoted as promising to “advocate for both accountability and behavioral health and substance use interventions to help stop the cycle of addiction, crime, and human suffering we are seeing on our streets.” No specifics on which “interventions,” though. The list of High Utilizers will be kept by the City Attorney’s Office, but coordination is promised with SPD, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, King County Jail, and “service providers.” This isn’t the first time the city has talked about dealing with repeat offenders, though – today’s announcement ends with the note, “The High Utilizer Initiative follows in part some similar recommendations made by the 2019 High Barrier Individuals Working Group, organized by Seattle and King County.” (More about that here.) As for whether West Seattle offenders are on the list, we’ve asked the City Attorney’s Office if any geographic information is available.
West Seattle, Washington
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