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County jail vs. state prison: A current incarcerated person explains the difference

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Northwest News Network

County jails and state prisons may not seem that different from the outside. But for the people within the walls, living conditions in jails are often very different from what they might experience in state prisons.

Christopher Blackwell is an incarcerated journalist.

He recently wrote a New York Times op-ed titled, "Two Decades of Prison Did Not Prepare Me for the Horrors of County Jail" about what he saw during roughly two weeks spent in Pierce County Jail.

It was a short detour during a decades-long prison sentence.

Blackwell is currently incarcerated at the Washington Corrections Center, a state prison for men in Shelton.

Soundside host Libby Denkmann took a phone call from Blackwell in his cell to talk about the differences he discovered while serving time at Pierce County Jail.

You can listen to the entire conversation in the audio above.

Soundside reached out to Pierce County to respond to Blackwell's specific comments about jail food, and the treatment of his cellmate, William Starkovich.

A spokesperson for the Pierce County Sheriff's Department, the supervising agency for the jail, said the department did not wish to participate in today's segment. The spokesperson said the Sheriff's Department would send a written response later this week.

When that response arrives, Soundside will share it with our listeners.

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