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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Families Oppose Moving Washington Inmates Out-Of-State

Thomas Hawk
Flickr -

The Washington state Department of Corrections recently signed a contract with the GEO Group to send up to 1000 inmates to Michigan.

Now, family members of Washington prison inmates say they don’t want to see inmates sent out of state to ease overcrowding.

Nicole Scott told a panel of lawmakers Wednesday that it took a toll when her husband was sent to Arizona the last time Washington sent inmates elsewhere.

“The contract breaks my heart for families that would be affected by this,” she said. “It put me in financial stress, my son, who hadn’t seen his dad for eight years before he was transferred, had been seeing him for a year and then his dad was gone again.”

Scott said she was speaking on behalf of other families because her husband would not be eligible to be moved this time around.

Washington prisons are bulging. But the deputy corrections secretary told lawmakers, at this point, there are no plans to ship inmates to Michigan.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."