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

  • Cherry Pitfalls
  • Cherry Pitfalls

    Why fruit is rotting on trees while workers wait at the border
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • The Real Threats
  • The Real Threats

    What worries Spokane's sheriff; plus, Washington's lawmakers finally hash out a budget
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • Party of Five?
  • Party of Five?

    Why Spokane County's newest commissioner is leading the fight to add two more
    • Jul 1, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Moscow ArtWalk 2015

Moscow ArtWalk 2015 @ Downtown Moscow

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays. Continues through Aug. 31

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

  • The Rachel We Knew

    EDITOR'S NOTE: How Rachel Dolezal came to write for the Inlander
    • Jun 18, 2015
  • The Real Rachel Dolezal

    The story goes far beyond just a white woman portraying herself as black
    • Jun 17, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation