Pin It
Favorite

INTERVIEW — Douglas Marlowe 

click to enlarge art18377.jpg

If there’s a time to reform Spokane’s embattled criminal justice system, Douglas Marlowe believes it’s now.

The lawyer, psychologist and researcher studies drug courts and alternatives to incarceration, and travels the country talking to politicians, activists and law enforcement about justice system reform. He sees the same challenges in Spokane that he sees in the rest of country — jail overcrowding and tight budgets that result in a lack of funding for non-incarceration programs — but he also sees the same opportunity.

“People have never been more open-minded than they are now,” he says. “We’re in such a serious budgetary crisis that we can’t be comfortable anymore with what we have been doing.”

What we’ve been doing, Marlowe argues, is the decades-long “War On Drugs” with a “lock ‘em up approach,” which hurt communities without putting enough of a dent in crime. Marlowe spends much of his time studying drug courts as one alternative, but he’s coming to Spokane to push for some of the same general principles local “smart justice” advocates are behind: more mental health analysis, better assessments of criminals to decide which treatment to use or sentence to give, and more programs that get people treatment in their communities instead of in jail.

Marlowe says he hears plenty of doubts. People are afraid of programs that put criminals back on the streets instead of in prison cells. So he shows them studies, like one showing that domestic violence offenders are more likely to reoffend when they’re put in jail than when they’re treated in a community-based program.

“It’s hard to keep arguing when the data is right in front of them,” he says. “I’m more optimistic now than I’ve ever been. … We’re right at that critical point of trying to make sure we do it right this time. I don’t have a crystal ball, but I think some communities will do it right and others won’t.”

The Smart Justice Campaign Presents “A Criminal Justice System for Spokane That Works” with Dr. Doug Marlowe • Thu, Sept. 13 at 6:30 pm • Bing Crosby Theater • Free

Tags:

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Crash > Click > Cash
  • Crash > Click > Cash

    Lawyers and chiropractors already have your name, your address and the police report from your car accident — and they want you to hire them
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Starting Small
  • Starting Small

    A village of tiny houses in Spokane Valley could serve as a model for fighting homelessness in the region
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • Drastic Action
  • Drastic Action

    Spokane among seven school districts sued by State Superintendent of Public Instruction; plus, trio of police-chief finalists are in town
    • Jul 21, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri
Blacktop BBQ & Beer Garden

Blacktop BBQ & Beer Garden @ Steam Plant Square

Sat., July 23, 5-10 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Heidi Groover

  • Brachytherapy Breakthrough
  • Brachytherapy Breakthrough

    A new option for treating skin cancer skips the scalpel
    • Dec 1, 2014
  • It's Exploding
  • It's Exploding

    Why lawmakers and cops are worried about people blowing themselves up
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • GU Shake-Up
  • GU Shake-Up

    The woman overseeing reports of sexual assault at Gonzaga resigns; plus, a new study on Lakeland Village
    • Nov 25, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Lane Ends Ahead

    Spokane wants to improve a mile-long section of Monroe — but that means taking away two lanes
    • Jul 7, 2016
  • Too Smart for School

    What happens when a 12-year-old prodigy tries to go to college in Spokane?
    • Jun 30, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

green zone


marijuana


Briefs


election 2016


trail mix


Readers also liked…

  • Extraordinary Ordination
  • Extraordinary Ordination

    Meet the first woman to be ordained as an Ecumenical Catholic priest in Spokane
    • Nov 19, 2015
  • Letters from Mark
  • Letters from Mark

    A mother tries to understand the suicide of a son — just as he was regaining his freedom
    • Jan 14, 2015

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation