SEATTLE -- It’s been a year since the ‘System Failure’ report came out tracking 100 prolific offenders. The report commissioned by Seattle business owners wanted to quantify the problems they are facing every day.
The Downtown Seattle Association says 93 of the 100 offenders have cycled back into jail and collectively they have been booked a total of 320 times in the past year.
When the report first came out, Q13 News talked to Emerald City Guitars in Pioneer Square. A year later, owner Trevor Boone says nothing has changed for them.
“It’s the same thing, I don’t care how they paint it,” Boone said.
They are still dealing with harassment, theft and assault.
Recently, Boone says a woman was smoking crack on the sidewalk for hours and started yelling at people right outside his store.
“There are people with a mound of syringes, we literally saw her smoking crack,” Boone said.
Boone says she also defecated in front of his business.
“We have customers running out because how it smells, people leaving this block,” Boone said.
During the time it took to interview Boone, a man relieved himself across the street and another man walked by with a box of drugs on Tuesday.
“Everyone down here experiencing the same thing,” Boone said.
And thousands of people in SoDo are dealing with it too.
“I hear on a daily weekly basis that they are fed up that they would like to leave,” Executive Director of SoDo BIA Erin Goodman said.
Goodman says Grocery Outlet is already gone due to crime.
“Theft, assault, fire, they had a really hard time keeping their employees safe,” Goodman said.
Goodman says the business community published the ‘System Failure’ report hoping to see action from various Seattle city leaders. She called the results so far disappointing.
“We aren’t seeing the changes on the street we are seeing some attention not the full-fledge attack,” Goodman said.
As the crisis continues, the 100 repeat offenders tracked in the report are continuing to cycle in and out of jail. Ileana Bozarth has been arrested the most in the past year.
She has been booked 12 different times for things like theft, often getting hysterical and assaulting employees and fighting with officers.
“Treatment, housing, support are really important; it has to come with accountability and oversight,” Goodman said.
Most of the 100 offenders being tracked have cases in Municipal Court dealing with misdemeanor cases.
The Seattle City Attorney’s Office on Tuesday said they actively advocated for the expansion of the LEAD program which is a diversion program.
They also say they are about to get a second Assistant City Prosecutor to respond to people in that program.
They are also analyzing ways to expedite the process of charging criminals.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office says they were part of Mayor Durkan’s working group along with other elected leaders and experts.
That working group came up with four pilot programs which includes an enhanced shelter with on-demand health services and a rapid re-entry connector to better address the needs of people being released from jail.
The latter is on hold because Seattle City Council has further questions about the program.