I Couldn't Make This Stuff Up

And I assure you, I have a vivid imagination.

State of Washington Department of Corrections has lost an Arkansas felon. Sean Robinson, writing at the Tacoma News Tribune, fills us in on the details.

He’s William T. Forbes, one of 14 Arkansas parolees Washington is required to supervise under the terms of an interstate agreement.

Forbes is a fugitive – the only wayward parolee in the Arkansas group. His whereabouts are unknown; last known address in Moses Lake. An active warrant, valid anywhere in the country, calls for his arrest.

The Arkansas offenders, including Forbes, represent a sliver of the total; Washington supervises 2,393 out-of-state offenders, according to records from the state Department of Corrections.

It’s unclear how many of those offenders have violated the terms of their parole or absconded from supervision. The News Tribune recently requested a state-by-state breakdown from the Department of Corrections, with particular emphasis on Arkansas.

I especially love this part:

The numbers also reveal an apparent trade deficit. Washington’s exported offenders number 1,046 – less than half as many as the 2,393 the state received from elsewhere.

Corrections officials cite multiple reasons for the disparity.

“Offenders – like a lot of people across the country – are attracted to Washington’s quality of life,” said DOC spokeswoman Maria Peterson.

Other factors revolve around differences in state corrections law, officials say. Washington’s community supervision system differs from other states’, many of which use more traditional parole and probation systems. Some Washington offenders are from Washington originally, and have convictions here as well as elsewhere, Peterson said. She added that the interstate agreements governing offender supervision are not designed to create a 1-to-1 ratio among all states.

Right…our “community supervision system” differs from other states. I wonder if that isn’t some sort of code for “we just sort of shoo them out the door and hope they report in once in a while.”

Meanwhile, Governor Gregoire’s moratorium on accepting parolees from Arkansas is still in effect; smoke and mirrors of little substance that does little to protect the public, designed primarily to deflect attention away from her own abysmal record on public safety.

More on this subject:

Cross posted at It’s Only Words.