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Mission of SOC To Change

The Special Offender Center (SOC) is going to become another Intensive Management Unit (IMU). The proposed change is scheduled to take place on July 1, 1991. The SOC was designed and built to house prisoners with mental problems, and has served in that capacity since it was opened in the early 1980's. State prison officials had subsequently tried to get funding for the construction of an IMU at the Reformatory, but the legislature refused to go along with the scheme.

Under the new plan the SOC will become a part of the Reformatory, just as the Walla Walla and Shelton IMU's are a part of their respective parent institutions.

The men currently housed in SOC are suffering from mental illnesses. According to the plan they will be shipped out to Walla Walla and Shelton. It is open to question whether these mental cases will be subjected to the type of warehousing SOC was built to end. There is also some speculation by prisoners that the planned closure of SOC is a cynical attempt by DOC to circumvent the legislature's intent not to have another segregation type facility at the Reformatory.

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