prisons

Labor And Industries Report
12:32 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Washington Department Of Corrections Fined For Unsafe Asbestos Removal Program

A known carcinogen, asbestos needs to be removed with the use of safety equipment including respirators. L&I determined that the DOC failed to enforce the use of respirators in its asbestos removal program.
Flickr Photo/Asbestos Testing (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The State Department of Corrections has shut down a decades-old program staffed by inmates to remove asbestos from prison facilities.

The Department of Labor and Industries originally fined the DOC $141,000 after determining that inmate workers were exposed to asbestos dust, but the penalty was reduced to $70,500 in a settlement.

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Racial Disparity
4:12 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Why For-Profit Prisons House More Inmates Of Color

An inmate walks through the yard at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio, which recently switched to private management.
Ty Wright Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 7:03 am

A new study by a UC-Berkeley graduate student has surprised a number of experts in the criminology field. Its main finding: Private prisons are packed with young people of color.

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Medicaid Expansion
7:37 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Affordable Care Act Opens Door To More Inmate Enrollment

Flickr Photo/Still Burning (CC BY-NC-ND)

Health care enrollments so far have been focused on people without insurance. But there’s another population officials are trying to get covered – people locked up behind bars.

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Prison
12:53 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Food As Punishment: Giving U.S. Inmates 'The Loaf' Persists

Lisa Brown for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 12:49 pm

In many prisons and jails across the U.S., punishment can come in the form of a bland, brownish lump. Known as nutraloaf, or simply "the loaf," it's fed day after day to inmates who throw food or, in some cases, get violent. Even though it meets nutritional guidelines, civil rights activists urge against the use of the brick-shaped meal.

Tasteless food as punishment is nothing new: Back in the 19th century, prisoners were given bread and water until they'd earned with good behavior the right to eat meat and cheese.

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Prisons
8:01 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Recruiting Prison Health Care Workers Could Get Harder Under Affordable Care Act

Eric Larsen is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner for the Washington Department of Corrections.
Eric Hernandez Washington Dept. of Corrections

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 9:21 am

It’s no easy task to find doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to take a job in a prison. The stigma alone is a major barrier. Not to mention concerns about personal safety.

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Legislature
7:17 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Inslee Proposes More Prison Beds, No Teacher COLAs In Budget Update

Members of the Washington Education Association wore these buttons to Governor Jay Inslee’s supplemental budget rollout to signify five years without voter-approved cost-of-living increases.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 9:01 am

More prison beds, but no cost of living raises for school teachers are two takeaways after Washington Governor Jay Inslee proposed a modest update to the state’s two-year budget.

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Mexico
10:02 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Daughter Of Jailed Renton Woman: Mom Is Political Prisoner In Mexico

Nestora Salgado's daughter Griselda Rodriguez wipes away tears as she talks to the crowd in Seattle Tuesday.
Alex Garland

Community activist Nestora Salgado lives in Renton, normally.

She grew up in Olinala, Mexico, and over the last few years she’s been returning frequently and getting involved in the community – so involved that she ended up running a legal community police force. Mexican law allows indigenous communities to form such groups.

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Author Interview
3:58 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Michelle Alexander On How Incarceration Is "The New Jim Crow"

Michelle Alexander's book "The New Jim Crow."

Ross Reynolds talks with Michelle Alexander, author of "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness", about the US criminal justice system and racial control.

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Prison
3:46 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

New Approach For Washington's Female Prisoners

A woman reading in the library of Gig Harbor's Washington Corrections Center for Women.
Flickr Photo/Washington State Library

Ross Reynolds speaks with Jane Parnell, superintendent of the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor, about the DOC's new approach for female prisoners.

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Prison
4:30 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Following Snohomish Jail Deaths, Feds Point To Overcrowding

Flickr Photo/Still Burning

A new federal report says overcrowding and under-staffing puts the health of Snohomish County Jail inmates at risk. The report comes after eight deaths at the Everett, Wash., facility in the past three years.

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Prison
3:03 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

The Challenges Of The Aging Prison Population

Flickr Photo/egwnd

Marcie Sillman talks with Kevin Bovenkamp, assistant secretary for the Health Services Division at Washington's Department of Corrections, about the new challenges prisons are facing with a rapidly aging population including elder care, hospice services and assisted living.

Monroe Prison Program
4:05 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Respite From Solitary: Troubled Inmates Come Together For Yoga, Conversation

Inmate Joshua Burgoyne, 31, watches Sgt. Mike Acree explain how negative self talk can be turned around. The program for offenders in long term isolation is an attempt to help lower infractions while in prison and when they're released.
KUOW Photo/Patricia Murphy

For prison’s toughest inmates, the hardest yoga position is simply closing their eyes.

That’s because these men, housed at Monroe Correctional Complex north of Seattle, have been in solitary confinement, unable to communicate with each other. Until recently, they spent 23 hours a day alone in a cell, without books, without TV, without anyone to talk to. 

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Amazing Individuals
6:00 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Best Of The Conversation: Feature Interviews

The Nancy Pearl action figure.
KUOW Photo

We talk to a lot of fascinating people on The Conversation: comedians, journalists, politicians, ex-felons, librarians, writers and even pirates. Today, we rebroadcast three interviews with some amazing individuals who have overcome hard times to pursue their dreams.

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Author Interviews
9:50 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Behind 'The New Black': The Real Piper's Prison Story

Taylor Schilling plays Piper in Netflix's Orange Is the New Black, which is based on Piper Kerman's memoir of her year in prison.
Jessica Miglio Netflix

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:18 am

Piper Kerman was a 24-year-old Smith College graduate in 1993, when she flew to Belgium with a suitcase of money intended for a West African drug lord.

This misguided adventure started when she began a romantic relationship with a woman who was part of what Kerman describes as a "clique of impossibly stylish and cool lesbians in their mid-30s." That woman was involved in a drug-smuggling ring, and got Kerman involved, too, though Kerman left that life after several months.

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Criminal Sentencing
10:59 am
Mon March 4, 2013

Should Minors Convicted Of Crimes Be Serving Life Sentences Without Parole?

What's your view on life-without-parole sentencing for juveniles?
Flickr Photo/Leonard Chien

Some prisoners in Washington state are currently serving life sentences without the possibility of parole for crimes they committed when they were under the age of 18. Is that just? Last year, the US Supreme Court ruled that a mandatory life-without-parole sentence for juveniles violates the Eighth Amendment. Ross Reynolds explores what Washington state must now do.

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