Washington Corrections Officials Play CYA With Clemmons Case

December 2, 2009


Let’s get this straight: Maurice Clemmons was charged with eight felonies in Washington State alone in the last year and Washington State authorities wouldn’t throw him in prison. They blame Arkansas officials for failing to revoke his warrant for breaking terms of his parole in Arkansas (where he was previously given clemency by Mike Huckabee and eventually thrown back in prison for breaking the law AGAIN).

Clemmons was arrested in Washington on July 1. The following day he was formally charged with second-degree rape of a child — the eighth felony charge filed against him in Washington this year alone. All eight of those charges traced to a spree of violence in May and were still pending against Clemmons while the two states tangled over how to deal with him.

But now Washington corrections folks have begun leaking emails to the press about how they ‘fought’ to have Clemmons put in prison and begged  Arkansas officials to please DO something.
I don’t know how one goes about these things, but it seems to Joe Normal out here that if you’ve got eight felony charges against one dude in one year you might have the ability to lock homes up and protect the public. Why is it necessary to get Arkansas to issue ITS warrant when you’ve got the guy in your system and can throw him in jail?Especially when all the corrections people now say they KNEW what a dangerous man he was.
And let’s not forget Washington is currently loosening up rules for offenders so they don’t have to have as much supervision.   See my previous blog post here. There are several others but you get the drift from this one. 
Let the CYA begin! 

Arkansas had an interest in Clemmons because he remained on parole in that state. Convicted of at least five felony charges, Clemmons served more than 10 years in Arkansas’ prison system before being released in 2004 and moving to Washington.
When Clemmons landed in trouble in May 2009, Arkansas issued a warrant for violating the conditions of his parole. This warrant, if enforced, would have allowed Washington to keep Clemmons in jail without chance of posting bond.
But on July 16, an Arkansas official notified the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) that Arkansas was rescinding its warrant.
Marjorie Owens, a Washington DOC administrator, wrote a blistering response on July 23, saying Arkansas’ decision appeared to violate the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision (ICAOS), an agreement governing how states treat one another’s offenders who are on supervision.
“I’m concerned that you have no problem releasing your offender into our community, based on his behavior,” she wrote. “I thought ICAOS was all about community safety.”
Owens also wrote: “Hopefully the offender will not get out on bail.”

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