WA Opens $40 Million Unit For Violent Inmates


Washington State yesterday unveiled a $40 million “prison within a prison” for violent and dangerous offenders, reports the Seattle Times. The building on the grounds of the Monroe Correctional Complex gives the state’s largest prison 200 new beds for inmates serving solitary confinement. The building will house the 100-bed Intensive Management Unit (IMU) for inmates who are repeatedly violent and destructive, and a new 100-bed segregation wing for inmates serving short-term punishment. “It is a challenging population,” said Ken Quinn, Monroe superintendent. “You have to be able to put them somewhere.”

Inmates serving time in the new building will spend 23 hours a day in the 7-by-14-foot cells. They will be allowed to exercise for an hour a day in a concrete room. The inmates will be allowed out of their cells three times a week for 15-minute shower breaks. Some 172 surveillance cameras and modern building design offer better security to officers, who in the past had been assaulted by inmates serving time in segregation. The state’s IMUs have drawn fire from the private Human Rights Watch, where a spokeswoman said solitary confinement is “cruel and unusual punishment.”

Link: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2003984668_imu31m.html

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