Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $900,000)
Within the Quinault Police Department’s (QPD) jurisdiction, community police documented reoffending rates at 80% in 2019 and 90% in 2020. Driving under the influence and controlled substance possession charges place a heavy burden QPD. In 2020, controlled substance possession and driving under the influence offenses increased from previous years. Aside from DUI’s and drug possession charges, Families are losing parents, siblings, and children due to drug overdose death. In Washington State, drug overdose deaths have the largest impacts on American Indian and Alaskan Native Men ages 45-54. Statistics from Grays Harbor County, which boarders the Quinault Indian Reservation, has the highest number of overdoses per capita, of any county in Washington State.
Moving away from a punitive approach to criminal justice, an approach coined “restorative justice” has gained traction within Native communities including the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN). QIN has been working to build a stronger restorative justice model. Part of this model serves to help non-violent offenders and their families work through substance abuse issues through a variety of social services such as Chemical Dependency, behavioral health, and family services. The Quinault Business Committee (QBC) understands the need to better serve their citizens, reduce repeating offenders, rehabilitate offenders, and reduce victims’ post-traumatic stress.
Under the leadership of Chief Justice Leona Colegrove, the Quinault Tribal Court (QTC) is proposing to re-establish, improve and expanding the current Adult Criminal Wellness Court and developing a Family Wellness Court. Establishing these courts will promote the restorative justice model and be better suited to reduced recidivism, lesson the burden on community policing, reduce jail capacity, and build a stronger communities. These efforts will provide offender’s with chemical dependency treatment and behavioral health treatment that will offset further offenses and/or relapse.