Prison task force to hold second meeting Wednesday

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WALLA WALLA -- A community task force formed to deal with concerns over possible job cuts at Washington State Penitentiary will hold its second meeting Wednesday.

The group will meet at 3 p.m. at the Walla Walla Regional Airport terminal building's conference room, said Jim Kuntz, Port of Walla Walla executive director.

Task force members will review responses from the Office of Financial Management and the Department of Corrections to questions submitted by the group following its first gathering on July 30, Kuntz said in a release.

Another topic will be preparations for a meeting with consultants from Christopher Murray & Associates, the company which is conducting a study for the Office of Financial Management to identify how to eliminate 1,580 beds in the Department of Corrections.

The study, which was ordered by state Legislature during its last session, also requires the OFM to identify how to cut an additional 485 beds from facilities operated by the state Department of Social and Health Services.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318. Check out his blog at blogs.ublabs.org/randomthoughts.

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