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Reentry into the Community

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.

The Department of Corrections (DOC) acknowledges the first 6 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 focuses on such prosocial activities as employment, housing, and family connections for those releasing from incarceration.

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 ReentryAdobe PDF document file, 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 ReportAdobe PDF document file detailing the progress made in achieving the directives specified for each agency.



Below are Department of Corrections (DOC) policies that apply to Reentry.

Laws & Regulations

Below are the federal laws, state laws (RCWs), regulations (WACs), and executive orders that apply to and/or relate to Reentry.

Executive Orders
Revised Code of Washington (RCW)
Washington Administrative Code (WAC)

Resource Links

Online Publications