OLYMPIA – Thurston County residents are encouraged to attend a public meeting regarding the county's proposed community corrections center. The center, suggested for a site in the Mottman Industrial Park in Tumwater, would help to relieve severe overcrowding at the county's current jail in the courthouse on Lakeridge Drive in nearby Olympia .
Thurston County Chief Administrative Officer Don Krupp says the facility, called an Accountability and Restitution Center (ARC), is very different from the typical jail. "The ARC will provide a broad spectrum of services to the community in holding inmates accountable for their criminal actions, while at the same time working to get them connected with the programs they need to turn their lives around. By helping the inmates to change their behaviors, we can hopefully return them to the role of contributing, responsible adults and keep them from cycling in and out of the courts and jail."
The public meeting on October 12th will be a chance for county residents to better understand the ARC concept, according to the county Central Services Director Bill Phillips. "We will have a presentation from consultant Steve Carter who will explain the framework of the Accountability and Restitution Center . We are then asking those in attendance to break into small groups and talk about the issues and their concerns." The small groups will then report back to the meeting. Representatives of the county and the cities, who have been working on the corrections challenges for several years, will take those comments under review as they finalize plans for the ARC.
"It's important for folks to attend the meeting and help shape the scope of operations for this facility," says Phillips. He notes there will also be other future opportunities for public comment. "We will soon begin the review for this proposal and that means the Environmental Impact Statement process and other chances for folks to share their thoughts and concerns. We will do plenty of outreach to let people know when and where to attend meetings in the review process." County residents can also find out more about the proposal, and leave comments, by visiting the ARC web site at http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/arc/index.htm
The public meeting is set for 7 PM the evening of Wednesday, October 12th at Black Hills High School , 7741 Littlerock Road SW in Tumwater.