The Pierce County Council created the law and justice public review committee to review reports generated by the county’s law and justice departments, per Resolution R2020-43. In June the Council directed the County Executive to review the policies, procedures and best practices of these departments.
The departments included the Sheriff’s Department, corrections system, Assigned Counsel, Medical Examiner and Economic Development Department. Council also requested the Judicial Branch and Office of the Prosecuting Attorney provide a thorough review of policies, procedures and best practices in use as it relates to serving Pierce County residents.
Retired Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson served as facilitator of the committee, which was composed of 14 people, two from each of the seven Council districts.
The committee met weekly and focused on specific areas of review. The committee drafted a report with its observations and recommendations, which was shared with the Council at a Committee of the Whole meeting Nov. 18, 2020.
Council intends to use the committee recommendations to inform its development of an action plan for how to prevent and reduce inequality and injustice, including the formulation and implementation of public policies and procedures that assure fair distribution of public services and management of county operated, public-serving institutions to achieve fairness, justice, equality and equity.