April 27, 2010

New revelations raise public outrage over Pine Lodge closure

KREM-TV and the Spokane Spokesman-Review have turned up damning information about why Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women was offered up on the altar of budget cuts in the final hours of the legislative session.

KREM uncovered an internal memo from the Department of Corrections saying Pine Lodge in Medical Lake outside Spokane will close – just so the state can open another prison in Western Washington.

KREM reported that DOC “said the new prison (in Western Washington) will be more energy efficient and will cost less to operate. The e-mail also said it’s too early in the process to know what the final cost will be. The new prison will not be just for women.”

As with furloughs (see next story here), the Pine Lodge closure may end up costing more—which is what members, Medical Lake city officials and other allies have been saying for more than a year.

Also damning is the Spokane Spokesman-Review’s report catching the House budget chair in a state of confusion over why Pine Lodge had to close.

The paper quoted House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Kelli Linville as saying Pine Lodge had to close because of the consultants’ report issued last fall. “Budget negotiators ‘looked closely at a report done last year…and tried to minimize politics,’” Linville told the paper.

The only problem? Linville is 100 percent wrong.
“That report, however, recommends leaving Pine Lodge open to have a corrections center for women inmates in Eastern Washington,” the Spokesman-Review reports.
“Asked about the difference, Linville replied: ‘We used the report as a basis. We were trying to use real information first, and then we negotiated the budget.’” 
Whether these revelations stop the Close Pine Lodge train, you shouldn’t stop letting the governor know.

CALL NOW!  1-800-562-6000 and tell the governor sacrificing Pine Lodge in Eastern Washington to benefit Western Washington is a scandal and flies in the face of the facts.

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