Buildings at Washington State Penitentiary should stay open - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Buildings at Washington State Penitentiary should stay open

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WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- A final report is released regarding the Washington state budget and reducing correctional facilities statewide, and it looks like the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla may stay open.

An initial report proposed an option to close the old main institution at the Penitentiary, but the latest and final report offers something different. It recommends and immediate downsize at McNeil Island in Pierce County and building more capacity at Walla Walla in the form of a medium-security and close-custody unit.

Sen. Mike Hewitt says, "I am very pleased to see the changes in today's final report. Although it may be a short-term reprieve, it is good news for our community nonetheless. It appears the final report has done what the initial report did not do - take into consideration the impact an immediate closure would have on a community the size of Walla Walla."

The final report also recommends, once the Walla Walla work is complete in 2015, closing the old main institution and re-opening some of the closed beds at McNeil Island.