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Almost half of ‘prolific’ homeless criminals return to jail since February study

Back in February, a study was published detailing a sample size of some of King County’s most prolific homeless criminal offenders. Since that report, almost half of the offenders in that study have already been booked back into King County Jail.

RELATED: Seattle failing at stopping ‘prolific’ homeless criminal offenders

“Our data now indicates that 40 these individuals have now offended again and have been booked into King County Jail,” said Mike Stewart with the Ballard Alliance, one of the groups that helped compile the study. 

That makes for exactly 40 percent of the 100 offenders profiled in February, making for what Stewart and other local business owners have described as a direct threat to public safety.

“We’re rattled right now,” said Stewart, speaking to KIRO Radio’s Mike Lewis Thursday, on The Candy, Mike and Todd Show. “As business owners and residents, we’re rattled by these issues, and legitimately concerned about our public safety.”

The study analyzed people with “a high frequency of criminal activity in Seattle,” and the impact those people have had on public safety in the city’s busiest neighborhoods. Its conclusion: Repeat offenders are moving through a revolving door in the criminal justice system.

It also dug into recent bookings into King County jail. Those 100 offenders combined for 3,562 criminal cases in the State of Washington, 1,612 misdemeanor cases in Seattle Municipal Court, and 636 total bookings into King County Jail in the last year.

RELATED: 1 of 5 booked into jail are homeless, mostly nonviolent crimes

The original criteria was to pick out 100 individuals that have been booked into King County Jail at least four times in the last year. In terms of getting to that number, it didn’t take long.

“It wasn’t really too difficult to get to a hundred,” Stewart noted.

So how do we solve this problem? For Stewart and the other local business owners that helped put together the report, the hope is that the city begins to take a good, hard look at the way it deals with these “prolific offenders.”

“The question is how many times do these individuals need to be released from King County Jail before something is addressed?” Stewart posited. “We feel like the city council needs to get to a point where we’re truly addressing some of these basic core issues of municipal government.”

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