Correctional facilities on Gregoire's chopping block - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Correctional facilities on Gregoire's chopping block

Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich (File Photo) Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich (File Photo)
  • Also on KHQ.comMore>>

  • Gov. Gregoire wants about $780 million in 'buy backs'

    Gov. Gregoire wants about $780 million in 'buy backs'

    OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Chris Gregoire wants the Legislature to save about $780 million worth of programs from the budget ax.>>
    OLYMPIA, Wash. - Gov. Chris Gregoire wants the Legislature to save about $780 million worth of programs from the budget ax. She has already shown what an all-cuts budget would look like, but says she can't live with it. K-12 levy equalization, the Basic Health Plan, financial aid for college students and the General Assistance welfare program are tops on the governor's list of programs to rescue.>>


















(The Spokane County Jail is not on the chopping block, but Spokane
County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is worried that partially closing or
closing five state correctional facilities will put more pressure on an
already overcrowded system)



OLYMPIA, Wash. - Before a joint session of the House and Senate, Gov. Gregoire Tuesday proposed closing or partially closing five correctional facilities across Washington State.

The closures, according to Gregoire's testimony, would save the state more than $60 million while at the same time, would not affect prisoner release dates.

"First, I propose to close, or partially close, five correctional facilities. By more efficiently using the beds we have, we can save $65 million over four years and not release a single offender prior to his or her earned release date," said Governor Gregoire.

One of the facilities that could face complete or partial closure is McNeil Island, the center that houses convicted rapist Kevin Coe. The extent of the closures is currently unknown.

The proposed closures have at least one Eastern Washington law enforcement head worried. Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich says the closures would put more pressure on an already overcrowded system.

"It's difficult when you start closing facilities. Geiger is one of the facilities that we have basically cut its population in half because of the budget," said Knezovich. "That just meant more pressure back on the main jail. It means more pressure back on the streets... I just hope that they can pull that one off."

Tuesday, Gregoire also proposed reducing the size of the three juvenile institutions and added the last time the state closed an institution was in the 1970s.

Gregoire led into the proposals of closing the correctional facilities by saying "Now is the time to have the courage to close institutions that may be an important fixture in a community, but are no longer cost effective, or whose services are no longer needed or can more effectively be provided elsewhere."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • WATCH: Car kick sparks chain-reaction crash on California highway

    WATCH: Car kick sparks chain-reaction crash on California highway

    Saturday, June 24 2017 4:40 PM EDT2017-06-24 20:40:35 GMT

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - A case of road rage caused a chain-reaction crash on a California freeway on Wednesday and a driver caught the whole thing on video. It happened around 6 a.m. on the southbound 14 Freeway near Newhall in Santa Clarita. Witness Chris Traber started recording when he saw a gray sedan cut off the motorcyclist.

    >>

    SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - A case of road rage caused a chain-reaction crash on a California freeway on Wednesday and a driver caught the whole thing on video. It happened around 6 a.m. on the southbound 14 Freeway near Newhall in Santa Clarita. Witness Chris Traber started recording when he saw a gray sedan cut off the motorcyclist.

    >>
  • Driver lands on I-90 barrier after overcorrecting

    Driver lands on I-90 barrier after overcorrecting

    Saturday, June 24 2017 2:07 AM EDT2017-06-24 06:07:22 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Firefighters say a car was driving too fast on I-90 near the state line Friday afternoon, and couldn't slow down in time to deal with traffic. The driver overcorrected and landed on the barrier. The driver suffered minor injuries. The crash caused a backup for several hours near Starr Rd. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Firefighters say a car was driving too fast on I-90 near the state line Friday afternoon, and couldn't slow down in time to deal with traffic. The driver overcorrected and landed on the barrier. The driver suffered minor injuries. The crash caused a backup for several hours near Starr Rd. 

    >>
  • Homeless single father tries to turn luck around for 4-year-old daughter

    Homeless single father tries to turn luck around for 4-year-old daughter

    Friday, June 23 2017 11:09 PM EDT2017-06-24 03:09:10 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. George Simpkins packed his bags and moved from Ohio to Spokane to start a new job. But when he got to the Lilac City, his string of bad luck started.  “That never happened,” said Simpkins. “I’ve had temporary jobs off and on.” It’s been several years since Simpkins moved to Spokane, and the now 48-year-old hasn’t been able to keep a job, but it’s not due to lack of effort. “I’ve lost a couple of jobs because

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. George Simpkins packed his bags and moved from Ohio to Spokane to start a new job. But when he got to the Lilac City, his string of bad luck started.  “That never happened,” said Simpkins. “I’ve had temporary jobs off and on.” It’s been several years since Simpkins moved to Spokane, and the now 48-year-old hasn’t been able to keep a job, but it’s not due to lack of effort. “I’ve lost a couple of jobs because

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/