Washington State has too many prisoners, some sleeping on floors of already doubled-up cells, so it plans to send about 250 to a sprawling new lock-up in Nevada, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The state could begin transporting inmates to the High Desert State Prison in Indian Springs, about 45 miles north of Las Vegas, as soon as next month. The deal is not final. Some inmates’ families fear the plan will take away their chance to visit incarcerated sons, brothers or fathers.
State officials say they have little choice. “Basically, we’re out of new space,” said James Thatcher, the Department of Corrections’ chief of classification and treatment. “We had an excess of population, no place to put them, and we had to look to other states.”
All the state’s prisons are overcrowded. With more than 16,500 inmates, the system is running at 135 to 140 percent of its rated capacity.