Joe's Vault: A look back at McNeil Island Corrections Center

Joe's Vault: A look back at McNeil Island Corrections Center
A closing ceremony for McNeil Island Corrections Center will take place today, several months after state officials announced plans to close the facility in an effort to save millions of dollars.

McNeil was a federal penitentiary from 1875 to 1981, when it was leased by Washington State and then purchased in 1984.

In the late 1970s, the U.S. government decided to phase out McNeil and officials in our state discussed the pros and cons of taking over the facility. Today's vault presentation aired September 10, 1979, when the penitentiary was well on the way to being closed.

We took a look at the history of the prison as well as its possible future. The program was hosted by veteran Jim Harriott, then KOMO's News Director and later anchor. Jim had had stints at KING and KIRO as well.

Also of note, Kathi Goertzen was an intern and worked hard on this program. She's in the credits as Production Coordinator and Researcher/Writer. Kathi was hired here full-time as a reporter-trainee in June, 1980.



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