Tacoma Urbanist

Dec. 20, 2007 at 12:38am

Is the Department of Corrections Dumping a Disproportionate Amount of Felons in Tacoma...Again?

Today, the Tribune Reports:

A Tacoma nonprofit group will get $1.1 million from the state to provide temporary housing to inmates who recently have been released from state prison or county jails.

Citizens for Responsible Justice, a 7-year-old organization that already provides housing to offenders at an East Side home and a Hilltop apartment, is one of four groups chosen by the state Community, Trade and Economic Development Department to test new transitional housing programs for ex-convicts.

The article states that 235 felons total will be placed in the counties of King, Pierce, Clark and Spokane Counties.  While Pierce County only has 22 percent of the population of these counties, it be forced to take an additional 30 percent of the felons in the program.

Pierce County Prosecutor Gerry Horne is objecting to programs that bring in felons from areas outside of Pierce County.

Pierce County Prosecutor Gerry Horne said last week he doesn’t like it when the state gives money to local nonprofit groups who try to help prison inmates, because they help bring inmates from other counties into Pierce County and contribute to the county getting more than its fair share of offenders.

Thus, despite the fact Tacoma and Pierce County already being burdened with more than its share of felons, resulting in increased criminal acts on its residents, the DOC is planning on giving Pierce County yet another disportionate share of felons?

Wait.  Doesn't this program only serve felons who have a Pierce County Connection and would be here?  Apparently not:

The prison system is allowed to make exceptions to a new state law that requires prison inmates to be released to the county of their first conviction, and the agency does so about 25 percent of the time.
Did the Fair Share legislation do any good at all last year? I had thought other counties were required to catch up to Pierce County not the other way around.

For more information see

Pierce County Prosecutor Gerry Horne  Web Page Crime Warp:

Pierce County has the worst violent crime rate in the State of Washington. Prosecuting Attorney Gerry Horne has labeled this a CrimeWarp and traced it to the policies of the State Department of Corrections.
Communities with higher populations of released offenders have higher crime rates. A 2002 Department of Justice report found that 67 % of state offenders are rearrested for a new crime within three years. Further, a report comparing DOC work release programs in several Washington counties showed that Pierce County work release facilities had the highest 5 year (1993-97) recidivism rate for felony convictions of those studied: 48%. According to the same report, that rate is higher than the recidivism rate of 43% for those persons released directly from prison!

Tacoma City Club Study  : Thirty Years of DOC in Pierce County: Is it Worth it.

comments [4]  |  posted under crime, tacoma, washington


by morgan on 12/21/2007 @ 11:43pm
C'mon Erik, what's a few more felons- we'll never know the difference!

Isn't that green double-house in the TNT photo is right around the corner from your old office? What's the address? I wonder if Citizens for Responsible Justice owns it or are renting.

Seriously, I think the leaders of these non-profits should be required to live in the neighborhoods that they "serve." I see that Citizens for Responsible Justice is based out of Puyallup and I notice one of the leaders of this "non-profit" has an interesting side career of real estate agent. Hmmm... now THERE'S a business model: Make money off a non-profit to house felons in a town other than your own and then make some more money off slumlords to house them!

Smells fishy. Or at least stinky.

If somebody in Tacoma was smart, they would start doing the same thing, but house the felons in Puyallup, or better still, Seattle...

What is it with those real estate agents anyway?


by morgan on 12/22/2007 @ 12:19am
11th Street green house photo:

Owner is BAUMGARDNER LIVING TRUST (from county records):

BAUMGARDNER. Why does that name sound familiar?

by Erik on 12/23/2007 @ 4:05pm
Is this the image?

BAUMGARDNER. Why does that name sound familiar?

I don't know...do you?

by Erik on 12/23/2007 @ 4:21pm

Here it is