Letters to the Editor

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SCC: Don’t move sex offender facility

Letter by Ann Castner, University Place on Dec. 2, 2011 at 10:39 am with 4 Comments »
December 2, 2011 11:49 am

Re: “Budget cuts may bring sex felons to mainland” (TNT, 11-27).

The article outlines the state’s plans to move the Special Commitment Center to save money. But the options suggested by the state do not make financial sense.

I had the opportunity to tour McNeil Island and some of its facilities the day before the state prison was closed. We drove by the SCC.

Most communities will not welcome the opportunity to have 300 sex offenders in their backyard, and the state will spend a lot of money searching for a suitable new location. The SCC is a very well-maintained facility and should stay on McNeil.

To save money the state should consider selling the large boat that is so expensive to run and replace it with a smaller boat or two. The state should also allow SCC employees to occupy the houses that prison employees lived in. The majority of the housing stock is in excellent condition.

The presence of employees and their families will create security on the island and save on transportation costs which appear to be the biggest issues for the state. If a few additional security officers or other workers are needed, spouses of SCC employees living on the island could be hired – again saving transportation costs and reducing the need for 23 additional security officers in 2012.

The state wasted a lot of money when it closed the prison on McNeil. It should not be allowed to make the same mistake with the SCC.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. alindasue says:

    That makes sense to me.

  2. surething says:

    Absolute sense. We should have never closed McNeil.

  3. itwasntmethistime says:

    I thought they should have increased the use of McNeil Island and closed a different prison instead. It’s the only prison that doesn’t face the “not in my backyard” problem that is so important to so many of us. I know it had to do with the difficulty in providing prisoners with family visitation and work release opportunities, but I’d much rather cater to the needs of the general public in feeling safe than a bunch of felons in feeling isolated.

  4. rdulaneyjr says:

    Though I agree we should keep the SCC where it is at, and should have kept the prison there as well, I ask how one can drive by and report it is well maintained. In fact the SCC has a roof caving in, and the buildings are getting less and less preventive maintence care. The residents also are getting less care; they are now down to 1 to 2 two to four-hour group sessions a week yet we are paying the counselors for 8 hours and in some cases overtime. Less than half of the 300 residents are taking the program. I think we are all loosing and we will continue to loose until we, the people who pay their wages, are allowed to see, uninhibitedly, what exactly is going on over there and in the rest of our governmental offices/buildings and what our money is buying.

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