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King County's juvenile court and jail are located south of Capitol Hill.
Flickr Photo/jseattle

Construction has started at the new King County juvenile jail, but politicians and activists are still fighting about it.

Two Washington state inmates at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center near Aberdeen have filed a civil rights complaint in federal court over prison shaving policies.

Davino Watson told the immigration officers that he was a U.S. citizen. He told jail officials that he was a U.S. citizen. He told a judge. He repeated it again and again.

There is no right to a court-appointed attorney in immigration court. Watson, who was 23 and didn't have a high school diploma when he entered ICE custody, didn't have a lawyer of his own. So he hand-wrote a letter to immigration officers, attaching his father's naturalization certificate, and kept repeating his status to anyone who would listen.

Jim Schott had one goal when he abandoned academic life to start the company called Haystack Mountain: He wanted to make some of the finest goat cheese in the country. With cheese in hand, he visited supermarkets, trying to persuade them to sell his product. Some didn't take him seriously. But Whole Foods did.

"From the very beginning, they wanted to taste it," Schott recalls. "And they wanted to know the story. They wanted to know where the cheese came from; who was making it; where it was made."

O.J. Simpson will find out on Thursday if he soon will be released from the Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada. He has been held there for nearly nine years for convictions on armed robbery and other charges.

The former NFL hero, TV pitchman and movie star, now 70, stands a good chance of being granted parole when he appears before the Nevada Parole Board via video link. No one has registered to testify against him. He will likely try to persuade the board of his good behavior behind bars.

If paroled, Simpson would be released from prison no sooner than Oct. 1.

Diontae Moore-Lyons, 17, right, is escorted back to his unit by manager Shawn Northcutt at Green Hill School in Chehalis, Wash., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Green Hill School is a medium/maximum security, fenced facility for teenage male offenders.
KUOW Photo/Dan DeLong

When black youth enter the criminal justice system, most of the people in authority they come into contact with — social workers, lawyers, the jury — are white.

Diontae Moore-Lyons, 17, is currently incarcerated at Green Hill School in Chehalis, Washington, the state's maximum security facility for juveniles.

Bill Radke speaks with Augustine Cita of the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle and Sean Flynn, board president of the Rental Housing Association of Washington, to discuss the new Fair Chance Housing law proposed by Mayor Ed Murray. 

A noted art collector and philanthropist has sold a major painting for an eye-popping $165 million to raise money for criminal justice reform.

Agnes Gund sold Roy Lichtenstein's 1962 work Masterpiece, reportedly to billionaire hedge fund manager and art collector Steve Cohen. The sale apparently took place months ago; an art industry newsletter reported on the transaction in January, but Gund would not confirm it.

The proposal for a King County youth jail was sailing through the approval process—but may now face roadblocks. The Seattle City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday to let people appeal the jail's permit.


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.

A sentencing calculation error that led to the early release of nearly 3,000 Washington prison inmates over more than a decade came to light one year ago this month. And Washington’s interim Secretary of Corrections has warned a similar mistake could happen again.

Washington’s only maximum security prison for women is overcrowded. That means some inmates are being housed at the Yakima County Jail. Now family members are calling on the Gov. Jay Inslee to halt those transfers.

Washington jails are old, crowded and holding people who are disabled, mentally ill and often haven’t yet been convicted of a crime. County jails are often the first stop for people who enter the criminal justice system.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Disabled inmates are suffering from discrimination and isolation in Washington jails. That’s the finding of a report out Wednesday from Disability Rights Washington.

The decision to stop calling Washington prison inmates “offenders” is not sitting well with a group of Republican state senators. They’ve written a letter to Secretary of Corrections Dick Morgan challenging the policy change.

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