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UPDATE: Laura McCollum leaves the island

McNeil Island
Parker Miles Blohm

Laura McCollum, who was profiled in Episode 2 of Forgotten Prison, has been conditionally released from the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. Hosts Simone Alicea and Paula Wissel spoke with KNKX's Kirsten Kendrick about what that means.

McCollum, 61, pleaded guilty in 1990 to child rape in the first degree. She was civilly committed as a "sexually violent predator" after serving more than five years in prison.

A judge ordered her release in April. She left the island earlier this month, and has been living in Pierce County.

Her release comes with strict conditions, including GPS monitoring and chaperones. Violations of any of those conditions will result in being sent back to the SCC.

The commitment center is the only facility on McNeil Island still operating since the prison closed in 2011. It's where Washington state civilly commits people who have been labeled sexuall violent predators after they have completed their prison time.

Paula reports on groundbreaking legal decisions in Washington State and on trends in crime and law enforcement. She’s been at KNKX since 1989 and has covered the Law and Justice beat for the past 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.
Kirsten Kendrick hosts Morning Edition on KNKX and the sports interview series "Going Deep," talking with folks tied to sports in our region about what drives them — as professionals and people.
Ariel first entered a public radio newsroom in 2004 while in school at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. It was love at first sight. After graduating from Bradley, she went on to earn a Master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Ariel has lived in Indiana, Ohio and Alaska reporting on everything from salmon spawning to policy issues concerning education. She's been a host, a manager and now rides shotgun with Kirsten Kendrick as the Morning Edition producer at KNKX.
A Seattle native and former KNKX intern, Simone Alicea spent four years as a producer and reporter at KNKX. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University and covered breaking news for the Chicago Sun-Times. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.