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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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John Higgins

The Medical Lake City Council unanimously approved a resolution last week opposing any new jail in the city. City officials also have threatened legal action if Spokane County or the city of Spokane attempts to use the Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women, which Gov. Chris Gregoire has proposed closing. Mayor John Higgins explains the city’s position: Q.Why do you oppose any Spokane County or city of Spokane corrections operation in Medical Lake?

State ignoring own report on Pine Lodge issue

OLYMPIA – Last year, the Legislature spent $500,000 for a consultant to tell Washington state which prisons should close and which should stay open. The consultant released his study in November, and the Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women in Medical Lake wasn’t on the list. Instead, he recommended it stay open to handle female prisoners on the east side of the state.

Medical Lake leaders object

Medical Lake city officials said Friday they want the Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women and no other prison. If state officials close Pine Lodge as suggested by Gov. Chris Gregoire, Medical Lake will “take every action available, including legal, to prevent any other corrections facility from occupying that building,” city officials said in a press release.

The Max

The Idaho Maximum Security Institution, known as "the Max," marked its 20th anniversary on Thursday; it houses the state's most dangerous offenders.

Lingo different when it’s softball on hard time

You’d think a guy with my shady reputation wouldn’t have any difficulty getting into prison. But entering Pine Lodge Corrections Center Saturday morning took a bit of red tape.

News conjures up lottery dreams and cell phone wishes

I was amazed to read Wednesday about the effort to keep cell phones out of the paws of the prison population. Apparently a lot of cellular phones have been smuggled into California and Florida lockups.

Prison to shrink by half

OLYMPIA – Citing a smaller population of female prisoners, state corrections officials plan to shutter one of two units at Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women, the only women’s prison east of the Cascades. The 359-woman prison in Medical Lake will shrink to 187 inmates. The rest will be transferred to West Side facilities.

Prison officials face escalating violence

As multi-agency gang task forces succeed in arresting and prosecuting gang members, the transfer of gangs from the streets to the state’s prisons is leading to more violence behind bars. Gang-affiliated inmates are responsible for 43 percent of all violent crimes in Washington state prisons, according to a study commissioned by the Washington Legislature and released to the public this week.

Idaho prisons rife with gang violence

BOISE – Idaho's prison population is getting more violent as gangs extend their reach throughout the prison system. "We are having many, many incidents with our gang members," said Pam Sonnen, chief of prisons for the state Department of Correction. "Eighty-three percent of all violence is attributed now to gang activity."

AT&T charged too much for prison calls

OLYMPIA – Friends and relatives of inmates at two Eastern Washington prisons have been overcharged tens of thousands of dollars for collect phone calls, state regulators said Thursday. In a settlement finalized Thursday, Washington's Utilities and Transportation Commission has ordered AT&T Communications of the Pacific Northwest to refund up to $67,295 and fined the company more than $302,000.