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.