Reentry into the Community
The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) acknowledges that the first six to 12 months of post-release status are crucial for a releasing individual’s success back in the community. Because public safety is the statutory mission for the agency, and because successful community reentry for individuals leads to safer communities, the Department of Corrections focuses on such prosocial activities as employment, housing, and family connections for those releasing from incarceration. Successful planning for eventual release begins far in advance from the actual date of release and the Department is intent on providing the needed tools to be successful.
Executive Order 16-05
Though most of the individuals who are incarcerated will return to their communities, successful transitions are difficult. Data show that many of the individuals who are released from confinement will recidivate and return to prison. The result of the high rates of recidivism are reduced public safety due to the new crimes being committed, increased costs and poor long-term outcomes for the individuals who are released. The likelihood of successful transition can be improved, however, with the utilization of reentry programs and practices. Reentry programs are designed to assist individuals who are releasing from incarceration to successfully transition back into the community.
With the goal of improving public safety, Governor Inslee signed Executive Order 16-05 on April 26, 2016, during National Reentry Week. Executive Order 16-05, Building Safe and Strong Communities through Successful Reentry, directs specific state agencies to take action to address known barriers to successful reentry.
On April 19, 2017, the Governor's Office released the first Executive Order 16-05 Report detailing the progress made in achieving the directives specified for each agency.
Below are Department of Corrections (DOC) policies that apply to Reentry.
- DOC Policy 310.140 Incarcerated Veteran Offenders
- DOC Policy 350.200 Offender Transition & Release
- County of Origin (Attachment 1)
- Investigation Offender Release Plan Process (Attachment 2)
- Offender Release Plan and Release Process for In-State, Out-of-State, or Federal Detainer (Attachment 3)
- Offender Release Plan Determination (Attachment 4)
- Offender Release Plan Procedure (Attachment 5)
- Release Process (Attachment 6)
- DOC Policy 350.210 Transition Resources for Offenders
- DOC Policy 630.590 Offender Reentry Community Safety (ORCS) Program Review
Laws & Regulations
Revised Code of Washington (RCW)
- RCW 72.02.100 Earnings, clothing, transportation, and subsistence payments upon release of certain prisoners.
- RCW 72.09.370 Offenders with mental illness who are believed to be dangerous—Plan for postrelease treatment and support services—Rules. (Effective until April 1, 2018.)
- RCW 72.78 Community Transition Coordination Networks
Washington Administrative Code (WAC)
- National Institute of Justice
- National Reentry Resource Center
- Pioneer Human Services
- Reentry Mythbusters
- Reentry Education Tool Kit
- Executive Order 16-05 Report (R 4/2017)