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Yakima Does Not Want the Title of City of Ex-Cons


Yakima does not want to be known as the city of ex-cons. Yet, the state of Washington is sending a lot of former inmates here. Many of them do not even have ties to the community. The worry is they will go back to a life of trouble.

Prisoners cannot go anywhere when they are released on parole. In some cases, the counties where they committed the crimes are off limits, even if it is home. So, they get vouchers to help cover their rent for that second chance someplace else.

A lot of motels on North first street accept those vouchers and that is where a lot of the end up. Police say the problem starts when that money runs out and have no where to go.

YPD Chief Dominic Rizzi says the problem is that Yakima is getting more ex-cons than it should from other places, and the numbers seem to back him up. Of roughly 1,800 prisoners released to a county that wasn’t their home 81 came to Yakima County. That might not sound like a lot, but, only five other counties took in more, and they are all larger.

The Department of Corrections noticed the problem in Yakima last fall. It intends to scrutinize Yakima cases this year which could mean less ex-con and less crime.

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