Criminal Justice

Austin Jenkins

Brian Phillips spent 71 days in solitary confinement this summer. He was locked up in the Thurston County Jail after he went off his psychiatric medication and had several run-ins with police. Like many of inmates in his situation, Phillips had to wait weeks for a mental health evaluation. While he waited, the isolation took a toll.

Evidence in hundreds of criminal cases is being reviewed following accusations that a forensic analyst with the Oregon State Police tampered with drug evidence.

The Oregonian reports the analyst, who worked at the agency's lab in Bend, has been placed on leave. The woman has not been identified, but agency spokesman Lt. Bill Fugate confirmed she is under investigation over the handling of drug evidence. The discovery puts current cases and convictions in doubt and could cost counties thousands to retest and retry cases.

Michael Coghlan / Flickr

Washington state’s prison system is projected to need 1,000 new beds by 2018. And that growth has Gov. Jay Inslee concerned.

Inslee on Tuesday announced a Department of Justice-backed review of the state’s criminal justice system. The goal is to look for ways to save money without jeopardizing public safety.

A federal judge on Friday sentenced "Barefoot Bandit" Colton Harris-Moore to 6 1/2 years in prison for his infamous two-year, international crime spree of break-ins, and boat and plane thefts that ended in 2010.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

It’s late Saturday night and you get a phone call. Your teenage son has been arrested. You show up for court on Monday morning unsure what to do or say.  Now there’s help for parents in this predicament. It's called Juvenile Justice 101.

The man charged with planting a bomb along the route of Spokane's Martin Luther King Day parade will appear in federal court today.


Drug courts have long been viewed as a success.  The courts give drug offenders charged with non-violent crimes the option of treatment rather than prison.

The courts, including those in Washington State, have proven effective in reducing repeat offenses. But some critics say too much money is being poured into drug courts.

AP (Ted Warren)

It was one year ago that four Lakewood police officers were gunned down in a coffee shop. Their assailant was Arkansas parolee Maurice Clemmons who was later shot and killed by a Seattle police officer. Today Governor Chris Gregoire will help dedicate a memorial to the slain officers at Lakewood’s police headquarters.