Monroe Correctional Complex (Washington State Department of Corrections)

Monroe Correctional Complex (Washington State Department of Corrections)

Inslee signs order to free hundreds of nonviolent prisoners

The state may release up to 950 inmates as officials look to prevent COVID-19 deaths behind bars.

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee signed a proclamation and a commutation order Wednesday, clearing the way for the state to free up to 950 inmates, in response to a state Supreme Court order to better protect inmates from COVID-19 in prisons.

Inslee’s action came hours after the state Department of Corrections reported three more inmates at the Monroe Correctional Complex tested positive for the disease. As of Wednesday, 10 prisoners and five staff have become infected with the coronavirus.

Last week amid news of the initial outbreak, dozens of prisoners in a minimum security wing of the Monroe prison had refused orders in a kind of protest, leading an armed response team to use pepper spray and rubber pellets to quell the unrest.

The commutation order applies to prisoners with an earned release date before June 30, as long as they were not convicted of a violent or sexual offense. It directs their release within seven days. About 18,000 people are held in state prisons, meaning the order could affect about 5 percent of the inmate population.

The order requires state Corrections to make a reasonable effort to contact victims and witnesses at least 48 hours in advance of a prisoner’s release.

The proclamation waives or suspends portions of several statutes, allowing early release of inmates who might not have completed release plans.

Both measures are in effect through May 15.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@auburn-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.auburn-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

The Enumclaw Health and Rehabilitation Center, which is located by St. Elizabeth hospital, a senior living community, and a nursing home. File photo
Inslee lifts visitation ban at long-term care facilities

Starting Wednesday, a four-phase plan will allow restrictions at nursing homes to gradually be relaxed.

I-5 to close overnight in Federal Way Aug. 28-30

5-mile shutdown for new bridge construction at 70th Avenue East in Fife

Here is the critter Scott Seagren found on his property on Green Valley Road. Although it has not been confirmed, Seagren said he has his doubts it’s a murder hornet. Courtesy photo
Was it a murder hornet, or a case of mistaken identity?

Auburn man makes discovery after setting traps.

Asian giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) is the world’s largest species of hornet. 
                                Courtesy of WSDA
State nets its first Asian giant hornet

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has trapped its first Asian… Continue reading

Families impacted by fatal police shootings to protest Thursday night at the Auburn Justice Center

Families impacted by fatal police shootings will join with community members for… Continue reading

Five young men come to King County deputy’s rescue

At the Auburn City Council meeting Aug. 3, King County Sheriff Mitzi… Continue reading

Donna Goodman, left, is all smiles after a crew from Allred showed up at her home en masse to replace her defunct heating and cooling system with a brand new one for free last Thursday. With her on the porch from left to right are Nick Allred, Dan Allred and Amy Shrake of Allred, and to the right is Goodman’s friend and neighbor, Karen Shepherd. Courtesy photo
Company new to Auburn comes to the rescue of Auburn senior

Donna Goodman was a senior citizen living in an Auburn mobile home… Continue reading

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

File photo
Road rager points gun at gas station | Auburn police blotter

Auburn Police responded to the following calls for service, among many others,… Continue reading

Most Read