U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Whatcom County Law and Justice Plan: Phase 1 Report: Findings and Recommendations

NCJ Number
Date Published
130 pages
This report presents the findings and recommendations of the consultants hired to examine offender characteristics, case processing, and dispositions' effectiveness in Whatcom County (Wash.); the report represents the first phase of the county's law and justice planning project to deal with increasing criminal justice workloads and demands, crime increases, and juvenile detention and prison overcrowding.
The researchers collected information over a year-long period by means of interviews of more than 100 local officials, meetings with more than 20 local groups, and an analysis of law and justice records and data. They developed project findings with oversight by the 35-member project steering committee. The findings and recommendations focused on law enforcement, the jail, the courts, prosecution, public defense, probation, juvenile probation and detention, and community-based treatment programs. Among the recommendations were to create a medium/minimum-security facility to house chronic misdemeanants who do not need a maximum-security cell and who would receive intensive therapeutic interventions directed toward changing their criminal lifestyles. Other recommendations were to develop an integrated structure for community-based programs such as work crews and restitution and to hire a criminal justice planner/coordinator whose duties would include oversight of the entire justice system. A further recommendation was to create an integrated decision support system closely related to the development of a management information system that would all justice activities and also allow interagency communication. Additional recommendations; tables; and appended background information, figures, and 103 references