Jonah at The Stranger has been all over the outcomes of the participants in the Drug Market Initiative, reporting today that the seventh of eighteen original low-level drug dealers has been picked up and now faces prosecution:
Another participant in the city’s Drug Market Initiative (DMI)—an effort aimed at eliminating the open-air drug market along the 23rd Avenue Corridor in the Central District—has failed out of the program.
King County prosecutors have filed drug possession charges against Terrance Lee Jenkins, 51, after, police records say, he was caught carrying several crack rocks and a wad of cash late last month.
As we exclusively reported back in June, the DMI program is designed to give non-violent drug dealers a choice: accept help and clean up, or else face serious jail time.
City deputy prosecutor Tienney Milnor told us last week that individual outcomes are not the main success criteria for the program. Instead, city officials will judge the program a success if the open air drug market along 23rd avenue is “dismantled” over the long term.
Additionally, according to residents around 23rd & Union, the real-world outcome so far seems to be very positive, with a significant decrease in drug activity and the other issues that go along with it.
We’ll continue to track the stats and see if that pattern hold over the long term.