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 In The News
  Posted on: Friday, July 13, 2012
County Officials in Washington Look at Ways to Reduce Criminal Justice Costs
Saying they have to find a new way of doing business in dealing with crime, representatives of Yakima County's criminal justice system agreed Thursday to stand together in support of changes that will streamline the processing of cases and hopefully reduce cost. Potential changes could include developing alternatives to incarceration and the adoption of intake standards that would set a threshold for the types of crimes for which adults should be put in the county jail. But there was an underlying fear at the meeting that a return to a higher crime rate and the potential for a financially crippling death penalty case could undo any corrective steps the county can take to reduce costs. Representatives of those departments met with county commissioners for the first time since a blue ribbon panel issued numerous recommendations June 7 on steps the county can take to streamline a criminal justice system that consumes 82 percent, or nearly $42 million, of the county's general fund budget. The departments are clerk, sheriff, prosecutor, assigned counsel and the Department of Corrections.
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