Draining The Swamp, Thurston County Style

Thurston County commissioners oust director of public defense

Thurston County to hire public defense director this summer

If you’re not following this story you should be, and here’s a quick-quick recap:

Daryl Rodrigues was the Director of Public Defense for Thurston County. Then we had an election last year and a couple Trump acolytes got elected. They immediately started “draining the swamp” and that meant firing people as if our county government was The Apprentice. Daryl is a spectacular individual who worked for tribes and as a mental health professional BEFORE he attended law school. He took that spirit of service into his work and championed alternative courts such as those for drugs, mental health, and veterans in order to prevent the cycle of people through the system and ultimately onto our streets with no way to get a leg up. This obviously wasn’t the approach our Cowboy Commissioners wanted to take to criminal justice in Thurston County… being of the “lock ’em up and throw away the key” ilk.

What’s the point?

The point is we should be paying close attention to who they hire. Be ready to head to the meetings, give testimony, and break out the torches and pitchforks if they hire someone with any less commitment to restorative justice. We don’t need privatization and more cells, we need jail diversion programs. We don’t need tougher laws, we need programs that break the cycle of incarceration.

I hope you’ll join me in urging our County Commissioners to do the right thing.

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