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Budget keeps McNeil open at 1/5 size

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on April 12, 2010 at 10:45 am | 11 Comments »
April 12, 2010 10:45 am

Senate and House budget negotiators say a deal still stands that would downsize the prison on McNeil Island by 80 percent.

Pierce County lawmakers were unable to secure a smaller cut to McNeil Island Corrections Center in the budget deal reached Sunday. Now we’ll see whether any of them try to amend the budget on the House or Senate floor.

If not, the prison will keep just 256 inmates, down from about 1,200. Under the deal, the prison would eventually close and be replaced by a new prison in western Washington. The plan is for the new lockup to end up somewhere in central Puget Sound, a key negotiator said.

McNeil did manage to avoid the total, immediate closure proposed by Senate Democrats. An Eastern Washington women’s prison did not have the same success; Pine Lodge will close. Larch men’s prison, in southwest Washington, came off best of the threatened prisons; its size will be cut by half.

Democrats were being briefed on the budget today and it is now available online. See anything interesting? Post to the comments.

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