The biggest chunk of the Spokane County budget, about three-fourths, goes for criminal justice. Your tax money pays to put deputies on the streets, for detectives who investigate crimes, for jailers and nurses to oversee inmates in the jail, for the prosecutors, public defenders and judges who try cases in the courts.
Spokane County Commissioner Al French says the criminal justice budget is relatively stable. Yet there are still significant challenges. The jail population is about double what Spokane’s 35-year-old facility was built to handle. In this segment, we talk with French about the debate over a new jail and other issues related to criminal justice.