Jacqueline van Wormer
Jacqueline van Wormer

Spokane County has been rewarded for its efforts at criminal justice reform, with the MacArthur Foundation selecting the area for a competitive grant to reduce overcrowding at the aging jail.

Spokane is amond 20 recipients nationwide of a $150,000 grant through the foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge program, aimed at reducing overcrowding in local jails. Jacqueline van Wormer, a WSU professor of criminal justice and criminology, heads the county’s Law and Justice Council. She said the award is a testament to the work being done to reform the region’s system.

“For Spokane to get this, we’re in the field with some really big urban jurisdictions,” van Wormer said.

The MacArthur Foundation on Tuesday would not release the full list of grant winners but said that more than 200 cities and counties nationwide applied for the grant.

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The Spokane Spokesman-Review