Letters to the Editor

State institutions: Governor Inslee and the Legislature must act

Re: “Conditions at state institutions unacceptable” (TNT, 8/10)

The 2016 inspections of Washington’s four Residential Habilitation Centers found numerous instances of shocking abuse and neglect of patients. The TNT editorial noted that neither the governor nor the legislature has done anything in response to such alarming findings. In fact, while RHC residents in Washington state were being abused, neglected, and raped, Governor Inslee was focusing his outrage on a restroom law in North Carolina. Horrific things have happened on his watch and in his own backyard, but apparently they did not offer enough opportunity for grandstanding to interest him.

Last year the state senate conducted hearings into poor management and negligence at the Department of Corrections which led to the early release of numerous offenders, two of whom committed murder after their release. These hearings effected changes in leadership at DOC, and actual punishment by demotion/resignation of some of the staff involved in such negligence — consequences which are far too rare in state government.

It’s clear that the Developmental Disabilities Administration urgently needs similar investigation and action, and citizens should demand that the Legislature and Governor Inslee make the difficult and sustained effort needed to fix problems and protect residents dependent on the RHCs for care.

Deborah Johnson, DuPont

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