Lights & Sirens

Go behind the yellow tape with The News Tribune

NOTICE: Lights & Sirens has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Lights & Sirens.
Visit the new section.

Category: Corrections


Arrest involving FBI on northbound I-5 this afternoon was for DOC warrant

The FBI and other agencies arrested a 28-year-old on northbound Interstate 5 near exit 122 about 1:30 p.m. today who had an outstanding Department of Corrections warrant.

KIRO-TV reported that the arrest caused backups on the freeway.

The arrest was a joint effort between the federal agency, the state DOC and Seattle police, according to the FBI.

The man had failed to check in with his Community Corrections Officer, and was considered at high risk to commit a violent crime, according to the DOC. He had been sentenced to 12 months of supervision for a drug-related conviction, according to the

Read more »


Autopsy today on Pierce County Jail inmate who died this week

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office will be conducting an autopsy today on a 42-year-old Pierce County Jail inmate who died Wednesday.

Corrections officers at the jail found Micah Tyler bleeding heavily from a shunt in his arm Wednesday morning in his cell. He was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center, where he died, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Tyler, who had been in and out of jail, was currently being held on second-degree assault.

Troyer reported that Tyler a medical condition that required him to have a dialysis port in his left arm. Investigators believe he tried

Read more »


UPDATED: Budget cuts to shutter McNeil Island prison next year, DOC announces

The state Department of Corrections will be closing McNeil Island Corrections Center in Pierce County next year as a result of budget cuts, the agency announced this morning.

The historic island prison will close for good April 1 and its 515 offenders shipped to other prisons in the state, according to a press release issued this morning.

The prison employs 245 staff members and the corrections department will work to find them jobs elsewhere in the prison system, the agency said.

The McNeil Island prison had been the focus of closure talks earlier this year. But instead of shuttering

Read more »


Study: Guards behind more prison sex absue than inmates

The National Prison Rape Elimination Commission recently came out with a report that found inmates reported being sexually abused by their captors more than other inmates.

More prisoners reported abuse by staff than abuse by other prisoners: 2.9 percent of respondents compared with about 2 percent. (Some prisoners reported abuse by other inmates and staff.)

It also found that “Many victims cannot safely and easily report sexual abuse, and those who speak out often do so to no avail.”

Air Force veteran Tom Cahill, who was arrested and detained for just a single night in a

Read more »


Corrections officers honor daughter of former coworker

Pierce County corrections officers honored the memory of one of their former coworkers Friday with a graduation gift to his daughter.

The gift of $4,600 was presented to Sarah McKeown during an event Friday afternoon at the Pierce County Jail.

McKeown’s father, 38-year-old Tom McKeown, died in a fishing accident on the Nisqually River in September 2004. He’d been among about 10 fishermen casting along the bank when he stepped off a hidden drop-off near the center of the river. His waders apparently filled with water, pulling him under.

At the time, Sarah was 13. She

Read more »


Records detail how inmate walked out of McNeil prison

Here’s a link to the report that underlies my story on a near-escape from McNeil Island prison in December.

The 13-page document shows how offender Donald Dravis made it onto the outbound ferry by telling a corrections officer he was a worker who had left his ID in his truck.

An outside review team found that escape protocols weren’t followed and raised questions about a use-of-force incident that happened once they had Dravis back in custody — In the words of the report: “Upon being escorted into the gate

Read more »


Washington Ranks 12 in nation for probation and parole

Here’s the story by the Associated Press. A link to the full report is at the bottom.


OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington ranks near the bottom in the country for the number of people it incarcerates, but like many states, it’s having to find ways to pay for a steadily growing number of people on probation and parole.

One in 30 adults is under correctional control in the state, according to a report released Monday by The Pew Center on the States.

With more than 165,000 people either incarcerated or on parole or probation, Washington state ranks 17 out of all the states. But Washington ranks 44th for the people it puts behind bars – just over 32,000 are incarcerated in either prison or jail.

The vast majority are either on probation or parole – more than 133,000, or about one in 37 people, ranking the state 12th in the nation.

Read more »