Washington State May Close Two Prisons In Budget-Cutting Move


After releasing more than 8,000 offenders from probation in the past two months, the Washington State corrections department is considering an even more drastic cost-reduction measure: closing at least one prison, reports the Seattle Times. The governor’s Office of Financial Management is expected to recommend shuttering one adult and one juvenile prison, a move that would result in massive job cuts and the shuttling of hundreds of inmates to other facilities.

“It’s like a ‘Sophie’s Choice’ situation,” said corrections secretary Eldon Vail. “Something has to be shut down.” The department budget for the 2009-2011 biennium is nearly $1.8 billion, a roughly $130 million (or 6.7 percent) reduction from the previous two-year period.

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