Inside Opinion

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Tag: McNeil Island Corrections Center

Nov.
19th

Prediction: SCC will move to WSH

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

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March
1st

Good reason to be wary of McNeil closure

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

State lawmakers should take a hard look at how much closing McNeil Island Corrections Center would actually save the state. South Sound legislators ought to also keep in mind what the closure could ultimately cost this community.

On Saturday, the state Senate set the stage for a showdown by passing a budget that calls for the McNeil prison’s closure in exchange for keeping a Vancouver prison open. (The House favors reducing the island’s 1,200-inmate population by half instead.)

Members of the Senate have been trying for years to get the state to study closing the McNeil prison, which is expensive to operate due to its remote location. People and supplies have to be ferried to and from the island, which has its own ferry service, fire department and wastewater treatment plant.

The Legislature finally commissioned that study last year – but the report doesn’t seem to have told senators what they wanted to hear.
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