Justice is not only the absence of oppression — it is the presence of opportunity.


Supporting criminal justice reform, incarceration reduction and prevention.

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Informing and influencing justice planning and policy

We are committed to working with our local leaders and advocates to support evidence-based solutions for reform.



Supporting initiatives aligned with Criminal Justice Reform 

These include Bail Reform, Pretrial Services, diversion from jail, and treatment for substance abuse, alcohol, and mental health.



Holding local leaders accountable

We support the work of locating/renovating or building the right size jail, under budget and to holding county officials accountable to a transparent planning process for our community.


Doing the work to make change happen, in community

Research. Advocacy. Connection. Building a network.


Our Vision

A local criminal justice system that makes sense.


It is clear in Whatcom County that it is time for our community to come together for dialogue, learning, and supporting positive change in the local criminal justice system. The County has asked the voters twice to approve a tax for a new jail, and twice we have rejected it. It is time for us to figure out where to go from here.

The Whatcom Justice Network is committed to informing and influencing justice planning and policy, That means that we will work with our county leaders and elected representatives; we will support the work of the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Taskforce; and strive for collaboration and informed dialogue with decision-makers.

We are aligned with criminal justice reform initiatives, such as efforts to reform bail and create pre-trial risk assessments, efforts to create robust pretrial services and true diversion from the jail, and efforts to increase treatment options for individuals who suffer from alcohol or substance disorders or mental illness.

We support the work of locating and/or renovating, or building a reasonably budgeted, right-size jail. We support the County's listening sessions underway and will work to hold our county officials accountable to a transparent planning process. We will help answer the questions - who should be in our jail, and what is our jail for?

And finally, we will do the work required to make positive change happen. That means research, advocacy, and building a network.

We can't do this work alone - we believe that if you want to go fast, go alone - and if you want to go far, go together. We invite you to join us in these efforts and help us get this right for our community.



The Whatcom Justice Network is thrilled that the County is taking their show on the road and going to communities in Whatcom County to simply ask citizens, what do you think about the criminal justice system. And then listen.