DOC Secretary Bernie Warner said that there are "no operational plans at this point to transfer inmates out of state" in an interview with KUOW yesterday.
Warner's statement contradicts a press release from the GEO group announcing the transfer of inmates from Washington State as early as the fourth quarter of 2015.
The State recently signed a contract with GEO, which, according to Warner, is a “contingency plan” that could move inmates, but only in the event of an emergency.
Michelle Woodrow, your Union's Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement, was also interviewed for the story:
The union representing front-line Washington DOC staff has criticized the contract. “Private, for-profit prisons have a dismal track record in terms of ensuring staff safety, curbing violence, and preparing prisoners to return to the community,” said Michelle Woodrow, president of Teamsters Local 117, in a statement.
View the entire piece on KUOW's website below:
Washington Prisons Secretary Says No Plans to Ship Inmates Out-Of-State
The Washington state Department of Corrections has contracted with The GEO Group, Inc, a Florida-based private prison company, to house up to 1,000 prisoners in Michigan to ease overcrowding.
In a May 21 press release, The GEO Group said it expects to begin taking in Washington prisoners starting this fall.
However, a contradictory statement from the Washington DOC said, “There are no current plans to utilize the contract.” Washington DOC Secretary Bernard Warner reaffirmed that in an interview Tuesday. He said sending prisoners out-of-state remains a “last resort.”
“We do not have an operational plan at this point to transfer inmates out of Washington state,” Warner said.