Olympia should prioritize prison reform
Thank you for the excellent, full opinion-page coverage suggesting alternatives to building a new state prison [“Consider alternatives to a new state prison,” Opinion, March 24]. I look forward to continuing coverage exploring further alternatives to expensive and largely ineffective long-term incarceration.
As suggested, there is mounting research-based evidence from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy and from others that education and re-entry programs not only serve to more successfully rehabilitate inmates back into society, but they are also more cost effective than longer prison terms in reducing recidivism.
After decades of increasing our prison population and the billions of dollars it has cost us, the time is ripe for legislators on both sides of the aisle — and perhaps most especially Gov. Jay Inslee — to establish a primary objective of accomplishing prison reform in our state. Thank you for your leadership toward this end.
–Tom Ewell, chairman, Criminal Justice Working Group
Friends Committee on Washington Public Policy, Clinton