Monroe prison officials, employees worried about cuts as well


WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla isn't the only community worried about a study to cut beds in the state prison system.

Employees, officials and prisoners at Monroe Correctional Complex are also wondering about their future after a visit by a consulting team last week.

The visit by consultants with Christopher Murray & Associates came after a similar site tour at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.

Consultants have also visited the McNeil Island Corrections Center and plan visits to additional sites, including the Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women in Medical Lake.

According to a story published Sunday in the Everett Herald, Monroe Prison Superintendent Scott Frakes said the proposed cutbacks could result in 100 to 125 jobs being cut at the facility.

The loss would be 10 percent of the work force at the prison, one of the largest employers in Monroe, a city of about 15,000 people northeast of Seattle. Prisoners would also have to be moved to facilities far from their families, complicating visits.

"It would be the low point in my career to have to go through that process," Frakes told the Herald.

Study consultants have focused on the Washington State Reformatory, a medium-security unit that is one of five units in the prison complex.

According to the Seattle Weekly, the reformatory building holds 740 beds, employs 200 staff members and houses the complex's hospital and its largest kitchen.


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