HomeRights, Justice, and Culture NewsWashington State Sets Criminals Free, Empties Prisons

Washington State Sets Criminals Free, Empties Prisons

Washington State sets criminals free, including violent sexual offenders, emptying prisons under progressive policies. 

By Eileen Griffin

The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) announced the closing of another prison.

Prisoners are being quietly and steadily released from jail under Democrat policies, KTTH 770 reports. Early release programs and a reluctance to prosecute new crimes are leaving criminals out on the street.

Since March 2020, the state has had a 54 percent reduction in prison admissions, King5-TV reports. There are currently 4,000 open beds for potential prisoners. A plan is in place to keep closing prisons and consolidating inmates.

Recidivism Risks

The DOC claims the reduction in prison population is due to “intervention, diversion, treatment and re-entry programs.”

Jason Rantz, host of the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH radio says the vacancies in prison are due to “light-on-crime” prosecutors and judges, not prisoner rehabilitation.

Laws passed in recent years reduced penalties for several crimes and tied the hands of police officers. Prosecutors undercharge criminals if they are charged at all.

“When Democrats are purposefully keeping criminals out of jail, it’s disingenuous for the DOC to claim they’ve been successful in mitigating the risks of recidivism,” Rantz writes.

In addition to implementing policies that keep people out of prison, they are releasing those who have already been sentenced and are currently serving time.

Sexual Predators Let Loose

Earlier in the year, Washington state released Level-3 sex offenders from McNeil Island, The Post Millenial reported at the time.

The small remote island prison held an entirely male population considered the state’s most violent sex offenders, The Guardian reported. They are placed there if a judge determines that they meet the definition of a sexually violent predator, meaning they have a mental disorder such that they are likely to re-offend.

The release was authorized by legislation passed in 2021 by Democrats. It directed that sexually violent prisoners be released and distributed equally around the state. Each county is expected to provide housing for prisoners.

In February of 2022, Senate Democrats proposed another program for early release of inmates. Senate Bill 5036 offered a pathway to release incarcerated individuals regardless of the length of sentence they were expected to serve.

“Senate Democrats in Washington state have once again passed a bill that creates a pathway to early release for a variety of incarcerated people serving long sentences or even life without parole, including those sentenced for aggravated murder and murder in the first degree,” wrote Hanna Scott at the website My Northwest.

The bill’s sponsor, Manka Dhingra (D), a long-time King County Prosecuting Attorney, defended the bill during the floor debate.

“This bill is about understanding the reality that people change,” Dhingra said. “Those of us who work in the criminal justice system know that we normally see people at their worst moment, but we also know that people are more than their worst day.”

Policy Has Critics

State Sen. Jeff Holy (R), a former police officer, criticized the bill proposed by his Democrat colleagues. He said that the mess and chaos in the justice system will only worsen as more criminals are released into society, creating more mayhem.

“Washington state is currently in a situation where the criminal procedure process in Washington after last year’s legislative session is in significant disarray,” Holy said. “And if you add to that the mass exodus of police officers in our state, we are so seriously behind the eight ball on so many things having to do with criminal processes in Washington state.”

Despite the crime wave and resulting in people and businesses fleeing the state, criminal justice policies continue to favor criminals over victims.

“Washingtonians are being lied to about the crime crisis and the policies and laws keeping criminals out of jail in order to justify closing more facilities,” Rantz writes. “It’s putting communities at risk. Democrats are doing this to serve an ideological agenda they view as worthy, so they turn a blind eye to the dire results of their agenda. But we suffer the consequences of the Washington crime crisis.”

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Eileen Griffin
Eileen Griffin
Eileen Griffin, MBA, Ph.D., is a contributing editor at Heartland Daily News and writes on a wide range of topics, from crime and criminal justice to education and religious freedom. Griffin worked for more than 20 years in leadership roles in the financial industry and is the author of books on business and politics.


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