In a shocking example of how dire the situation is in this country’s prisons system, a recent article has revealed that Washington state prisons are having to resort to begging for food to feed inmates.
Several of these counties are teetering on the brink, fearful of any major court trial that will tax their resources. The budget shortfalls are being largely blamed on tax policies, but present serious challenges to the criminal justice system nonetheless, as only a fraction of the funds spent on indigent defense in the counties is reimbursed by the state. County jail operations are woefully inadequate to deal with the increasing number of incarcerated individuals. Not only are counties relying on volunteers, but those volunteers are sourcing food donations to cut costs on the amount spent on inmate meals.
It’s a situation that could spell disaster, creating a dangerous domino effect across the state’s criminal justice system.