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incarceration

Charles Manson, the cult leader who drew lasting infamy for directing mass killings in 1969, has died at the age of 83.

Manson had been removed from prison in Corcoran, Calif., where he had been serving nine life sentences, and placed in a nearby hospital for a serious illness. It was the second time this year the mass murderer had been hospitalized.

Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess, King County Executive Dow Constantine and Deputy Executive Rhonda Berry at a press conference announcing the intent to move youth detention oversight to Public Health Seattle King County.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

King County Executive Dow Constantine is making a change he says will help the county with its effort to dramatically reduce the practice of detaining young people arrested for crimes.

Constantine signed an executive order Thursday moving oversight of youth detention to Public Health Seattle King County.

Amid the Trump administration's efforts to arrest people living in the country illegally, the Department of Homeland Security is looking at locations for five new detention centers around the country that could hold thousands of detainees.

Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, Washington.
GoogleMaps

A federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a group of four young people currently being detained at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

The teens are charged as adults.

The seven-acre "Tent City Jail" in Phoenix that helped make former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio a household name has been quietly struck once and for all after housing inmates for nearly a quarter century.

The Arizona Republic reports that prisoners from the infamous jail, made of Korean-War-era tents to alleviate overflow from more conventional facilities, were transferred late Saturday to the nearby Durango Jail.

A detainee in solitary at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Immigration detention is a booming business in the U.S., mostly run by private, for-profit contractors. A new bill in Congress aims to phase out these private facilities, including the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma.

FILE: Teens at the King County Juvenile Detention
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

"You have the right to remain silent."

Most people can recite at least the first line of the Miranda warning used by police when arresting people. The warning informs suspects they don’t have to talk to the police if they don’t want to, and that they have a right to an attorney. But brain scientists say young people often lack the perspective and judgment, especially in the moment, to know what’s in their best interest.

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

A Washington state appeals court ruled Tuesday that King County has been improperly calculating the property taxes it’s using to fund a new courthouse and youth detention center.

It’s the latest legal ruling in the contentious battle over replacing the facility. 

Dozens of murals hang on the walls at the Northwest Detention Center. They're painted by detainees, and the designs must be approved by staff. Painting is also considered a voluntary job, and the artists are paid $1 per day for their work.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing the company that runs the immigration detention center in Tacoma.

The lawsuit claims that GEO Group, Inc., the second-largest private prison operator in the nation, has been violating the state's minimum wage law for over a decade.

One of the halls at juvenile detention in Seattle. There are 212 beds but less than a quarter of those beds are used.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

The excavation work for King County’s new youth jail is done. But with the building’s foundation soon to be laid on East Alder Street, a new report calls into question how the design aligns with the county and city’s stated goals of not jailing young people at all.

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.

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