The new Wenatchee Valley Reentry Center will now start housing inmates making the transition out of the prison system. 

Governor Jay Inslee made the trip from Olympia to join the center's ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday. 

He's happy the state's 13th Reentry Center is opening locally. 

"We want to thank the people of the Wenatchee Valley for doing this, because it helps the whole state of Washington" Inslee said.  

The Department of Corrections held a number of public hearings and considered two locations before settling on the new site in the Deaconess building on Okanogan Avenue. 

The other location under consideration was the Chelan County Regional Jail Annex on Washington Street. 

Washington's reentry centers are based on similar facilities in Norway, which is considered to have among the world's premier corrections system. 

The centers are designed to assist inmates who are nearing the end of their sentences make the transition back into the community. 

Inslee says there's a robust effort to keep neighborhoods surrounding reentry centers safe. 

“They have a very sophisticated security plan,” said Inslee. “They have a very comprehensive monitoring of the people who are here. And we’ve been running these for decades now, and they have had minimal adverse problems for neighbors. They’ve been very, very successful.” 

All 13 reentry centers are operated by the Department of Corrections. In addition to Wenatchee, they’re located in Yakima, Bellingham, Longview, Olympia, Port Orchard, Tacoma and Kennewick, as well as three locations in Seattle and two in Spokane. 

The Wenatchee Reentry Center will serve a four county North Central Washington area. It's the first new location statewide in 20 years.

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