Dept. of Corrections Budget Proposal is Grim

The Department of Corrections’ proposed budget cuts are pretty much just as grim as we’d heard.

Yesterday, DOC—and about 40 other state agencies—turned in their list of proposed cuts to Governor Christine Gregoire’s, in response to her call for across-the-board 10-percent cuts from state agencies to close a $1.4 billion budget shortfall.

Among the proposed cuts at the Department of Corrections:

  • Eliminating all Community Supervision for offenders on probation.
  • The department would still supervise sex offenders, some drug offenders, and inmates transferred to Washington from other states as part of an interstate agreement.
  • The DOC would also convert medium security units at prisons /
  • Prisoners who are a “low to moderate risk to re-offend” (excluding sex offenders) would also be released four months early under the plan, and the department would eliminate chemical dependency treatment in prisons.

If these cuts stick and the governor does stick DOC with a 10-percent cut, we’ll see more offenders getting out of prison with less (or no) post-incarceration supervision.

On top of that, at the local level, SPD hasn’t hired a new cop in over a year, which has led to a 3% reduction in the number of officers on the force so far.

So that should be fun.