Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: doc

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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May
24th

BRIDGE: Another disaster for state government

So the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River has collapsed. This event signals another expensive failure of a Washington state agency, one in a litany of failures over the past decade: Department of Corrections, DSHS, Transportation and others.

Something is wrong when so many costly failures (in millions of dollars and lives damaged or lost) keep occurring. Most recently WSDOT failed to properly design pontoons for the state Route 520 bridge. Why?

And there’s more: it’s time for Tim Eyman to go away. And time for the citizens of this state to realize that there is no free lunch.

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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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July
27th

CRIME: New law poses danger to the public

This past legislative session we saw all sorts of legislation passed that was supposed to save money and keep us safe. Senate Bill 5891 successfully accomplishes the former but to the expense of the latter.

The part of ESSB 5891 I am referring to specifically is the part that eliminates confinement “tolling” for offenders under Department of Corrections supervision. In other words, their time on supervision does not stop or “toll” when they are in custody. That means offenders can be repeat violators and never have to report to their officer.

In effect, what this does is rewards those who

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April
28th

PRISONS: Fund DOC waste but not clinics for children?

Re: “Bill to release prisoners, cut funding under fire” (TNT, 4-3).

The Associated Press reported that our state Legislature is considering a slight reduction of nonviolent prisoners’ sentences. The prison guard union – as expected – opposes this action. Additionally, the city of Walla Walla formed a “task force” to combat it.

Why such a desperate response? Because if our prison population is diminished, the Department of Corrections is at risk of losing the quarter billion dollars it has been quietly allotted to construct new units and a new prison, despite the fact that a receiving center already exists at

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