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The following are testimonials from Department of Corrections staff and incarcerated individuals regarding the Washington Way program.

“If we are allowed to use our inter-personal skills, I feel that some of us can help change offender’s attitudes. This course has opened my eyes more to that.” – Sergeant MCCW

“I haven’t been out of my cell or had this much fun in way over a year” – Resident SCCC

“My wife said I am much calmer and less stressed out after leaving the prison that I have ever been in my career.” – Officer SCCC

“I used to go home and just hop on a video game for a cool down after work, I wouldn’t even talk with my family until I was calmed down. Now I don’t even think about that game, I go home at a lower emotional level and I am ready to spend time with my family right away.” – Officer SCCC

“We got a guy that typically doesn't really talk to staff. He'll just sing and rap, but he's been with the Resource Team for some time now, and now, he'll talk to you a little bit... You can talk to him at cell front, and he'll chitchat with you there for a little bit. Things like that, again, that's just encouraging that prosocial behavior. Just even basic talking, like I said, is a big thing. When it transfers over to line staff, that's where it starts to make our job easier. That brings the stress levels down on the staff, so then, in turn, it's going to bring it down on the offenders. So it just perpetuates that cycle... I would say overall, it lowers that tension, and kind of breaks down those barriers.” – SCCC Staff

“I have worked in corrections for over 25 years. Since day one, it has been an us against them mentality. Getting staff to understand times have changed and our tactics and training does not seem to be working. But this course shows that building relationships (currently taboo) with residents may actually increase the effectiveness of security. I hope everyone will be able to see this.” – Lieutenant, Men’s Facility

During the activity, a resident stated that he hasn’t been in a situation like this in a while, when asked what he meant, he stated “I mean, like not having to worry about who’s watching or who is behind me when I am at table playing cards and getting to know people.” – Resource Team SCCC

“It is about forming respectful and appropriate boundaries so that communications can be open and honest.” – Officer MCCCW

“I'm too old for this. I don't want to keep starting over. I want to get out and be a good dad for my son.” – Resident WSP

“Wow, this is cool being out of restraints again. I feel like a normal guy again.” – Resident SCCC

“[An incarcerated individual] came up to me and was screaming at me because the phones weren't working... I explained, ‘I do understand. I understand because I had [a family member] who was incarcerated. I understand how it is important for you to talk to your child. I understand what your child may be thinking, because my children have thought that about their [family member].’ And she stopped crying and was like, ‘really?’ Well, the officer that was working with me that night, she is typically very harsh, very mean with them. I walked away with her, and... the officer and I started talking about it. [Later] she was telling [an incarcerated individual] a story about how her life and how she could like... relate with them. And she wouldn't have done that. She wouldn't have done that before our meeting with the Amend people.” – MCCCW Staff

“This is a great opportunity to learn and create a better foundation for the work we continue to do. Our statistics on recidivism are dismal and what we’ve done up to this point is not accomplishing what we want, which is to positively impact lives. Time for new ideas and energy!” – Reentry Center Supervisor

“This training shows how important it is to have more positive interactions with staff and offenders and how to redirect the conversations to be more solution oriented. Our staff worry a lot about boundaries, but this shows how it can have a professional relationship and support inmates without going over that line.” – Officer WCCW

“Since doing this program it has calmed me down a bit, I don’t feel as anxious anymore like before.” – Resident SCCC

“It’s worth its salt, it’s such a cool concept and idea. Its not only going to make our lives better and decrease the stress that we feel on a day-to-day basis, but its going to give a little bit more purpose to the job that we do.” – Sergeant WCCW