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Rule Making at the Department of Corrections

The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) is a collection of rules adopted by state agencies under the authority of statutes that interpret and implement those statutes. A rule, commonly referred to as 'a WAC', is adopted by a state agency to interpret and implement state and federal law and codify rules regarding inmate discipline, behavior and conduct. The Department of Corrections (DOC) oversees the process for formulation and adoption of rules administered by the agency. The DOC is committed to developing and adopting rules that are necessary, fair, understandable.

The state law for rule-making is found in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The APA sets out the requirements the DOC must follow to adopt a rule, but do not apply to rules governing persons who are in the custody or are subject to the jurisdiction of the DOC (RCW 34.05.030(1)(c)). The Regulatory Fairness Act requires DOC to analyze the impact of its rules on small businesses.

Activity Within the Last 12 Months

Per RCW 34.05.270, within existing resources, each state agency shall maintain a website that contains the agency's rule-making information, or include a direct link to the index page on the Washington State Register website. See the below indexes for the DOC's rule-making activity and agendas:

Rule-making activity includes the complete text of all proposed rules, emergency rules, and permanent rules proposed or adopted within the past twelve months by that state agency. It also includes the time, date, and place for the rule-making hearing and the procedures and timelines for submitting written comments and supporting data.

CR-101 – Preproposal Statement of Inquiry (RCW 34.05.310)

Preproposal Statement of Inquiry (CR-101 form) provides public notice that the agency is considering developing a new rule, amending an existing rule, or repealing an entire rule or sections of a rule. This allows the public an opportunity to participate in the rule-making process at an early stage.

CR-102 – Proposed Rules (RCW 34.05.320)

Proposed Rule Making (CR-102 form) provides public notice that a new rule or a change to a DOC rule is being proposed. Included on this form is a brief description of the rule, the associated WAC number, a copy of the proposed rule text, as well as the date, time, and location of the public hearing(s), the deadline to submit comments, and the process for submitting comments. If appropriate, a Small Business Economic Impact Statement (SBEIS) is filed with this notice.

  • CR-102 – WAC 137-25, Serious Violations — Total and partial confinement facilities and WAC 137-28 General Violations — Total and partial confinement facilities WSR 23-17-100
  • CR-102 – WAC 137-56, Community Residential Programs, Work/Training Release WSR 23-23-021

CR-103 – Permanent and Emergency Rules (RCW 34.05.350)

Rule Making Order (CR-103E Emergency Rule form or CR- 103P Permanent Rule form) is used to adopt new or amended rules previously published using the CR-102 form. The rule is adopted when the CR-103 form is signed by the Secretary. Unless specified otherwise, a rule becomes effective 31 days after filing.

  • CR-103 – WAC 137-25, Serious Violations — Total and partial confinement facilities and WAC 137-28 General Violations — Total and partial confinement facilities WSR 23-22-112
  • CR-103 – WAC 137-56, Partial Confinement WSR 24-08-017

Note: Emergency rules are filed using the CR-103 form. In most situations they become effective immediately.

CR-105 – Expedited Rule Making (RCW 34.05.353)

Expedited rules (CR-105 form) are filed using an expedited process. Once the rule is proposed there is a 45 day period before the rule can be adopted. On the 46th day, or any day after that, the rule can be adopted and unless otherwise specified becomes effective 31 days later.

  • There are no CR-105s at this time.

Each state agency prepares a semiannual agenda for rules under development. The agenda is filed with the code reviser for publication in the state register not later than January 31st and July 31st of each year (RCW 34.05.314).

How to Participate

Get Involved

Input from the public is accepted by DOC throughout the rule-making process in accordance with the APA. This may include participation on advisory committees, written comments, and public hearings. However, the formal comment period for rules proposed in accordance with the APA begins with the publication of the CR-102 form in the Washington State Register, where the DOC provides contact information for comments and outlines a public hearing location, date and time. Written and verbal comments are accepted at the public hearing(s) on the proposed rule.

Public Hearings

A hearing gives the public an opportunity to testify on proposed rules. Public rule-making hearings follow a specific format and are recorded by stenographic, mechanical, or electronic means and become part of the official record for each rule adoption process.

Upcoming Hearings

  • Hearing is scheduled for Thursday, December 28, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. via Microsoft Team Meeting, please contact to register; For WAC 137-56.

Resource Links

Below are state laws (RCWs), regulations (WACs) and legislative information that apply to and/or relate to Rule Making.

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

Filings for Publication Only

Filings for Publication Only refers to those documents, filed with the Code Reviser for publication in the Washington State register, that do not relate to the adoption, amendment or repeal of a specific rule. Examples include, but are not limited to: meeting schedules for the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) and Correctional Industries Advisory Board, semiannual agency rule development agendas, designation of the agency Public Records Officer and designation of the Rules Coordinator.