Ahtanum View employees and supporters picket for public awareness - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ahtanum View employees and supporters picket for public awareness

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YAKIMA, Wash. - About two-dozen employees of Ahtanum View Corrections Center and other members of the union that supports them were out picketing Monday to spread awareness about the potential closure of the site.

They came to the intersection of 40th Ave. and Summitview Ave. in the late morning and stayed through afternoon.

John Young was one of the picketers and a member of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. He says the facility is important because it keeps jobs in the Yakima Valley and also respects its inmates.

"The reason we want to keep it is because it doesn't only benefit us, it benefits the aged offender, who's in the system," he said. "They get to die in a place that has dignity."

A report by a consulting firm that came out this month recommended Washington legislators close the prison to cut costs. The recommendation by the firm will be reviewed when the governor's 2010 supplemental budget is put together in March by the Office of Finance Management.

Ahtanum View currently employs 80 people and has 100 inmates.