WA State to Close Prison Near Vancouver, Lack of Inmates
The WA State Department of Corrections is closing the Larch Correctional Center, which is about 48 miles from Vancouver, WA in Clark County.
DOC says lack of prisoners justifies closure
According to information published by The Center Square, as well as the DOC, WA state's current prison population is only at about 70 percent of capacity between its 12 facilities--both maximum and medium security.
The Larch facility opened in the 1950s and can house up to 240 inmates. The state has not closed a prison facility in 12 years, the last being McNeil Island.
House Rep Jim Walsh, (R-Aberdeen) posted on his Twitter page the following statement:
"While violent crime rates rise all around this state, the WA Dept of Corrections is closing prisons. This is politics triumphing over public safety. And public interest. The people who help keep our communities safe are asking me to be their voice. I will. Larch should stay open."
The DOC noted that with lower inmate rates, steps are being taken to deal with the issue. Due to the lower rates, DOC also pointed out in their informational release they cannot afford to operate prisons that are not being adequately 'filled' with inmates.
According to the WA Association of Police Chiefs and Sheriffs, over the last 7 years, overall violent crime rates have risen 55 percent, within that, murder is up 95 percent, assault up 73 percent, and rape 51 percent.
The Larch facility will be closed by the end of this fall, says DOC.
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