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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."

Inslee: 'Aim And Then Shoot' On Accountability For Prisoner Early Release

Austin Jenkins
Northwest News Network
Governor Jay Inslee at a news conference in Olympia during which he answered questions about the status of the investigation into the early release of prison inmates.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee said an investigation into the early release of nearly 3,000 Washington prison inmates should be finished soon. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans got an update from their investigator on a separate inquiry underway.

Attorney Mark Bartlett testified before the Senate Law and Justice Committee. He was asked if upper management at the Department of Corrections knew of the early release problem after it was first flagged by a victim’s family in 2012.

“I believe the topic was something that was discussed at various managers’ meetings and the issue always would be who was at the meeting,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett said that’s still an open question. Governor Inslee said he’s has already identified some people he thinks may have substantial responsibility for the problem not getting fixed. But the Democrat said he’s not ready to fire anyone yet.

“Some people shoot and then aim,” Inslee said. “We think we should aim and then shoot.”

The fallout from the scandal has already cost Inslee his Secretary of Corrections who announced his resignation last weekend.

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."