Thursday marks three years since four Lakewood police officers were murdered in a coffee shop. The gunman was an Arkansas parolee named Maurice Clemmons. Since then, records show an additional 3,400 out-of-state parolees have moved to Washington. And hundreds more have absconded. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.
Three years after the Lakewood killings, Washington leads the nation as a net importer of out-of-state parolees. For every one Washington probationer who moves out, the state takes in three others from elsewhere. And that’s not all. Records show currently more than 500 out-of-state parolees who reside in Washington have warrants out for their arrest because they’ve absconded.
Aylward: “There’s a lot of warrants.”
Anmarie Aylward is an Assistant Secretary with the Washington Department of Corrections. She argues warrants are a sign the system is working.
Aylward: “I would rather have warrants open so that if stopped by law enforcement they can be arrested and then we can clear up whatever the issue is.”
Aylward says Washington takes in so many more offenders than it sends out because the state doesn’t technically have parole. Instead a few high-risk inmates are given community supervision usually for no more than three years.
Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio