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A Washington state prison inmate was accidentally held three-and-a-half years beyond his release date. The error was discovered last month. This follows the mistaken early release of nearly 3,000 Washington inmates over a 13-year period.

FLICKR PHOTO/Chip Griffin(CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/4xNLFK

Bill Radke speaks with Bremerton Police Chief Steven Strachan about a controversial crossword puzzle published in the New York Times.

Washington state has a new secretary of Corrections. Stephen Sinclair has been with the department for 28 years. Most recently he was in charge of the prison division. He was previously the superintendent of the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla.




Since 2011, Washington’s prison system has deported 339 convicted felons instead of locking them up. The deportations are part of a voluntary program designed to reduce prison costs.

Prison jail bars
Flickr Photo/Thomas Hawk (CC BY NC 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1MLz2Y5

King County executive Dow Constantine is calling for the creation of two new centers to help keep young people in King County out of jail.

In his annual State of the County address Monday, Constantine proposed two facilities, "Safe Spaces," which would provide services to young people dealing with challenges like homelessness, expulsion or low-level run-ins with the law.

Detainees are shown inside a holding cell at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Wash., Friday, Oct. 17, 2008.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Tacoma officials have taken a step that effectively stops Washington's immigrant detention center from growing.

The Tacoma City Council passed an emergency ordinance Tuesday that targets private and public prisons. The measure temporarily bans expansion of private prisons and limits where public correctional facilities can be located within Tacoma.

In 2014 and 2015, Washington's prison system experienced a spike in inmate suicides. During those two years 11 inmate deaths were ruled suicides, giving Washington one of the highest prison suicide rates in the country.

Richard Billings, Jr., 38

Child molestation

Sentence: 144 months

In 2014 and 2015, Washington's prison system experienced a spike in inmate suicides. During those two years 11 inmate deaths were ruled suicides, giving Washington one of the highest prison suicide rates in the country. Austin Jenkins has spent the past year investigating how this happened and how the prison system responded.

If you’ve ever seen the movie Con Air, you know that high-risk prison inmates are sometimes moved around the country on charter flights. It turns out the state of Washington has its own version of Con Air.

FLICK PHOTO/ caged (CC by 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/7JELJr

Bill Radke speaks with Tanya Erzen, associate professor of religion and gender studies at the University of Puget Sound, about the rise of Christian faith-based ministry in prisons. 

In Washington state prisons, 85 percent of the faith-based ministries for inmates are Christian. That tracks with what's happening in prisons all over the country. 

The lobby at the King County juvenile detention center lacks privacy, jail workers say.
KUOW Photo/Natalie Newcomb

Some city and King County leaders are calling for a reappraisal of construction of a new youth jail in Seattle. But they're getting pushback.

County Executive Dow Constantine said there’s still a need to rebuild the current jail, but he says the county should adopt a goal of “zero youth detention.”

"It is the long goal and I’m going to ask the county family, not just the council, but the justice system to adopt that as our goal,” he said.

In one of his last moves in office, President Obama has commuted the 35-year prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, the Army private who leaked a massive trove of military secrets to WikiLeaks.

The former intelligence analyst's prison sentence has been shortened to expire on May 17, 2017, according to a statement from the White House.

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Seattle P-I reporter Levi Pulkkinen about his story that looked into the treatment of mentally ill inmates in Washington state jails.  

Rally organizers handed out signs declaring Washington a 'hate-free state.'
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Washington elected officials who came out to denounce racism and hate found themselves in a verbal match against protesters.

What started as a show of support for members of a Redmond mosque was disrupted by residents opposing a proposed juvenile detention center in Seattle.


Oregon lawmakers are delaying a decision on whether to open a second women's prison. A legislative panel voted Wednesday to deny a funding request from the Oregon Department of Corrections.

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