Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: Department of Corrections

Jan.
29th

SCC: When will that next shoe drop?

Re: “Pierce shouldn’t be destination No. 1 for predators” (editorial, 1-29).

Pity the poor people of Pierce County. Seems like they are getting more than their fair share of violent sex predators being released from the Special Commitment Center still located on McNeil Island four years after the state prison on it shut down.

Why is that? Could it be because the powers that be in Pierce County insist that the SCC cannot be moved off McNeil Island? Nor reasonably relocated anywhere else in Pierce County? Or, for that matter, in all of Washington state? That’s curious.

For if the

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Feb.
19th

FELONS: Why not also reject the SCC?

Re: “Must Tacoma have the only home for disturbed felons?” (editorial, 2-18).

So housing disturbed felons in places like the Rap House and Lincoln Park Work Release Center, situated so close to Lincoln High School in Tacoma, troubles The News Tribune’s editorial board some. I can understand that.

But then the board expresses its somewhat mistaken belief that Pierce County is completely against being used as a dumping grounds for the Department of Corrections. I think the facts speak otherwise.

After all, Pierce County has already tacitly accepted the Special Commitment Center, with its hundreds of sexually violent predators,

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July
3rd

DOC: Nose misleading about inmate work

A recent Nose column item (TNT, 6-15) may have given readers an inaccurate understanding of our state’s Correctional Industries program.

This program is a proven key factor in a successful transition from incarceration back to the community. Inmates are provided an opportunity for productive employment during incarceration while learning or improving the skills which will increase their employability once released.

These are not “make-work” jobs. Inmates must be infraction-free for 12 months before applying for a CI job. They must have recommendations from correctional officers who are familiar with them. And they must have sufficient skills and the ability

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Feb.
28th

TACOMA: Sex offenders being dumped on Hilltop

My partner and I purchased a home on the Hilltop three years ago on a block that had seen much better, and much worse times. The last of the old crack houses was on the way out, and working families with children were buying homes. We have a community garden on our block, People’s Park with all of the playground equipment and several day cares operating in our neighborhood.

Imagine our dismay to find out that the old crack house was purchased by someone who would turn it into a boarding house for sex offenders!

Now, despite local TV coverage,

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Sep.
30th

LITTER: DOC cuts prevent inmates from picking up trash

Re: “We all can be environmentalists” (letter, 9-30).

The reason that the the Department of Corrections doesn’t have inmates pick up litter isn’t that “it is beneath the dignity of the inmates.” The reason nonprofits are no longer able to obtain inmates to do so many jobs that were done in the past outside the walls of the prison is because of budget cuts in the prison system. There is no longer the number of corrections officers and vans that can take the women outside the prison to do this work.

I now volunteer within the prison with these

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Sep.
28th

LITTER: We all can be genuine environmentalists

I read with interest a reader columnist’s piece (TNT, 9-19) about litter being everyone’s business. I agree with him that the perpetrators of our litter scourge will never read your op-ed page so have concluded the business of keeping our backyard clean is pretty much up to each one of us.

Envirocorps.org has developed a nicely organized way to do that by plugging in your ZIP code on its website (www.envirocorps.org) to find places to begin. Real environmentalism starts here with a pair of gloves and a garbage bag. The payoff is a renewed sense of pride in

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June
20th

DOC: Employees have time to waste on non-job projects?

Re: “DOC investigates ethics complaint” (TNT, 6-17).

This article really struck a nerve with me. It highlighted complaints that Department of Corrections personnel were allegedly using state computers, vehicles and employee time for non-DOC work.

When my wife Paula Joyce was killed by a felon under supervision, DOC employees repeatedly spoke at the trial of being asked to do too much with too few resources. Lack of adequate supervision was consistently blamed on having too many felons to supervise and not enough time.

Now we find the latest escapade of taxpayer dollars used to fund employees who then devote part

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