A new audit showing Washington state is paying unemployment benefits to criminals in jail is the latest in a series of blunders surrounding Washington prisons under Democrat Governor Jay Inslee. The audit showed over $650,000 in taxpayer funds went to ineligible recipients in 2013 and 2014.
“Many people in county jails are receiving unemployment benefits they’re ineligible for, according to a state audit released on Monday. Washington’s auditor’s office scrutinized eight county jails and identified 1,911 potential overpayments worth about $656,000 from July 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2014. People in jail or prison aren’t eligible for certain government benefits. To find incarcerated people who received unemployment benefits, the audit looked at jails in King, Pierce, Thurston, Clark, Spokane, Kitsap, Snohomish and Yakima counties, matching records of unemployment benefits to jail records such as Social Security number, last name and date of birth.” (Staff, “Audit: State Paying Unemployment To People In Jail, KIRO 7, 3/7/2016)
This blunder comes nearly three months since Governor Inslee admitted that over 3,000 prisoners had been incorrectly released early from Washington state prisons.
“Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday some 3,200 incarcerated criminals since 2002 have been released early from Washington state prisons due to a computer error that incorrectly calculated credit for “good time” served. That’s about three percent of all prisoners over that time.” (“3200 WA Prisoners Released Mistakenly Since 2002,” KING 5, 12/22/2015)
This series of blunders has further exposed Governor Inslee’s mismanagement of the state as he faces eroding job approval ratings less than 8 months before election day.