The High Priority Offender (HPO) Program focuses resources on the small percentage of the criminals who cause a large percentage of the crimes. We are using data, intelligence, and modern technology to identify these high priority offenders. The primary goal of this unit is to reduce overall crime in Pierce County. While the program is new, and in its early phase, we are already seeing positive results. Similar data-driven prosecution programs have been successful in New York and other east coast cities. We studied their models and adapted them for Pierce County.
As of June 1, 2017, 650 offenders were activated into the program. These 650 offenders averaged 26 arrests, 11 felony convictions, and more than three prior trips to prison. Since their arrest, 70% of the high priority offenders have remained in custody, as compared to roughly 20% of non-high priority offenders, which has prevented them from committing additional felonies. More than 85% of the high priority offenders have been sentenced to prison. This is more than double the state average of 36.6%. The average length of all felony sentences for high priority offenders is nearly four times the state average.
Our office is increasing public safety by identifying high priority offenders early in the process and seeking high bail and longer prison sentences. We are also saving taxpayer money on jail costs by sending offenders to the Department of Corrections to serve their sentences.