The state Department of Corrections announced today that the state’s dire budget situation is forcing it to close the McNeil Island Corrections Center. So here’s my prediction for the next shoe to drop: The Special Commitment Center for the state’s worst sex offenders, which is also on McNeil Island, will move to Western State Hospital in Lakewood.
Why? The DOC’s costs related to running the McNeil Island prison (ferries, barges, fireboats, etc.) will shift completely to the Department of Social and Health Services, which runs the SCC and WSH. If I were running things at DSHS, I’d say it doesn’t make sense to pay to keep the sex offenders on the island when there are empty wards at Western State. As a Lakewood resident, however, I wouldn’t be thrilled to have those folks in my community.