We’ve all read about the state’s Department of Corrections faulty software that resulted in prisoners being released early. Now we learn that the DOC is arresting early released inmates who have found jobs and are productive members of society supporting their families. They seem clearly reformed, and sending them back to prison for an average of 55 more days doesn’t make sense.
Anmarie Aylward, DOC’s assistant secretary, says this must be done to “protect the public.” Are you kidding me? How are we protecting the public to arrest a now-law-abiding citizen who has found a job and is supporting his or her family? Isn’t it likely that the family — now that the parent has to go back to prison for a 55 days or more and lose his or her job — will have to apply for welfare now that they have lost a breadwinner?
Let’s use a little common sense and let those people who have found jobs and are being productive, law-abiding citizens keep their jobs and continue supporting their families. They are demonstrating that they are reformed. It is counter productive to send them back to prison.
David von Wolffersdorff, Seattle
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My grandson is being torn from his new life
My grandson is among the thousands of Washingtonians who were released in error by the Department of Corrections. He will be rounded up by police officers within the week.
Like the majority of them, he hasn’t reoffended in the 15 months he has been out of prison. In fact, he sees his parole officer regularly, gets clean urine tests, takes the classes the DOC wants him to take.
He started school this fall. He spends time with his young nephew who desperately needs a role model. He takes out his grandmother’s garbage. He is a productive citizen and a good man, and I am proud of him.
Yet today his parole officer said he needed to turn himself in within a week at most. And then Thursday night officers showed up at my house looking to take him away. Really? He wasn’t given a few days to finish the construction job he committed to or to talk to the landlord or to pack up belongings or close his phone account?
What kind of a state do we live in where people who have served what they had every reason to believe was their time. They are trying to lead the kinds of lives we hoped for them, and all that they have worked for gets torn from them.
I am furious. Heartbroken and furious.
Beth Reis, Seattle