Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Washington Way?

The Washington Way is a paradigm shift that draws on international best practices to change culture within the state’s prisons and reentry centers. Washington Way aims to develop a human-centered culture of healing, positive staff-incarcerated communication, and improved living and working conditions. In cohesion, these principles will improve public safety, rehabilitation and reentry, as well as outcomes.

The Washington Way is a staff-driven and leadership-supported culture change effort taking place within the prisons and reentry centers in Washington State. This effort is being designed with a bottom-up approach that is empowering line level staff to identify ways to create change, fix problems, and improve the lives of our staff members and the people in our cares. This program aims to create a human-centered approach in corrections, create an environment of healing, rehabilitation, improved living conditions, positive communication between staff members and incarcerated individuals, and improve public safety by better effectively preparing incarcerated individuals as they reenter their communities.

How Will The Washington Way Impact the Department of Corrections?

Using the principles of Dynamic Security, Normalization, and Progression, the Washington Way will positively change lives inside and outside of the facilities. Communication between staff and incarcerated individuals will become more humane and respectful using these progressive tactics. Staff and incarcerated individuals both run the risk of being institutionalized due to the environments they work or live in. The Normalization efforts that the Washington Way brings to the facilities will positively change the environment to resemble the outside world as much as possible supporting successful reentry. These principles have been shown in other states and countries to reduce recidivism and improve both health and wellness.