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Correctional Industries

man sitting at a work bench working on optical glasses

An optical technician working for Correctional Industries at a Department of Corrections prison facility. Photo Gallery

The legislature has vested the Department of Corrections with the power to establish a voluntary comprehensive work program that does not unfairly compete with Washington businesses (RCW 72.09.100), and the Department has done so through the Correctional Industries program.

Overview

Correctional Industries (CI) is a unique blend of business and government, using private industry tools and techniques to provide a public service. The division's goal is to transform lives and increase successful reentry through training and mentoring by maintaining and expanding work training programs for incarcerated individuals which develop marketable job skills, instill and promote positive work ethics, and reduce the tax burden of corrections.

CI operates businesses within all prison facilities throughout Washington and employs approximately 2,200 incarcerated individuals. Training and workforce development opportunities are provided to incarcerated individuals through work programs modeled after the real-world, focusing on developing both technical and social skills. By linking basic skills, vocational skills, and on-the-job training, incarcerated individuals are prepared for employment when they reenter into the community.

What the Research Says

Stable employment is critical to successful transition into the community. A Washington State University study (pdf) determined that incarcerated individuals who participate in CI work programs were significantly less likely to commit new offenses leading to conviction and significantly more likely to remain in the community longer without committing a new offense. Additionally, once back in the community, formally incarcerated individuals who participated in CI programs were more likely to have a legal source of income, earn more than $1,000 per month, and earn an average of $1.03 more per hour than those who did not participate.

Additionally, work training and development also play an important role in daily institution management. Those who participate in CI work programs are significantly less likely to commit a violent infraction during incarceration.

Impact of CI Work Programs

All Correctional Industries (CI) employees have a direct impact on incarcerated workers by imparting technical and social skills throughout the work day. Technical skills help a person secure a job, while social skills help a person keep a job and advance professionally and financially. CI employees also serve as workplace role models and help incarcerated individuals build their self-confidence, and positive work behavior and habits for their release.

Workforce Development Specialists

Workforce Development (WD) specialists work with incarcerated individuals on soft skill development and training and reentry planning while still incarcerated. They also work individually with participants to develop an employment plan for release.

In addition to classroom training and individual plan preparation, WD specialists coordinate with community partners to host career training events such as mock interview fairs. Incarcerated individuals dress in shirts and ties to participate in mock interviews with members from the local community. The event provides incarcerated individuals with real world experience and feedback so they are better prepared to interact with potential outside employers upon release.

Community Employment Services

Community Employment Services (CES) connects incarcerated individuals with post-release employment. Through community partnerships, incarcerated individuals who participate in CI's work programs have the opportunity to successfully reintegrate into society and engage in training, education, or employment. One community partner, FareStart (YouTube Video), provides eligible incarcerated individuals with an opportunity to participate in a 16-week culinary training program while also receiving housing and career assistance.

Skill Development

Soft Skills

Correctional Industries (CI) employees are not only on-the-job role models, but many are also trained soft skills instructors. Participants are expected to complete Makin' It Work, a 20-hour, employer based cognitive training course. The course helps incarcerated individuals understand the behaviors and expectations of employers so they can develop the necessary cognitive and behavioral thinking to help them during their work training with CI and when they release back into the community.

Technical Skills

Incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to learn many technical skills. CI operates a variety of service and manufacturing industries in the Department's prison facilities. Incarcerated individuals learn technical skills ranging from entry level to high level computer numeric control (CNC) machine operation. Others include:

  • Accounting
  • Assembly
  • Baking
  • Carpentry
  • Drafting
  • Data Entry
  • Fabrication
  • Food Packaging
  • Food Service
  • Janitorial
  • Laundry
  • Paint and Powder Coating
  • Production Work
  • Upholstery
  • Sewing Machine Operation
  • Welding

Certificates of Proficiency

Incarcerated individuals may earn Certificates of Proficiency once they complete Makin' It Work, achieve 1,500 hours of on-the-job training, and demonstrate a high level of job skill based upon criteria established by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Standard Occupational Classifications. Once released, incarcerated individuals can use their certificate(s) to search for similar jobs and show potential employers their skill set.

Trades Related Apprenticeship Coaching (TRAC)

The Trades Related Apprenticeship Coaching (TRAC) program offers incarcerated individuals at Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) with education and job training for non-traditional female jobs. In partnership with the local carpenters, laborers, and ironworkers union, incarcerated individuals have the opportunity to complete a pre-apprenticeship program and upon release are eligible for direct entry into the local union apprenticeships. You can learn more about the TRAC program at CI's website TRAC brochure (pdf).

Correctional Industries Advisory Committee

RCW 72.09.70 establishes a correctional industries advisory committee that shall make recommendations to the secretary regarding the implementation of the work program (RCW 72.09.100). The committee shall consist of nine voting members appointed by the secretary who shall serve a three-year staggered term. The speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate shall also each appoint one member from each of the two largest caucuses in their respective houses who shall serve two-year terms (RCW 72.09.80).

If you are interested in joining the advisory committee, please contact us.

Current Committee Members

Senate President Appointed Representatives

Patty Kuderer, Senator
Non-Voting Advisory Committee Member

House Speaker Appointed Representatives

Dan Griffey, Representative
Non-Voting Advisory Committee Member

Tarra Simmons, Representative
Non-Voting Advisory Committee Member

Business Representatives

Mari Borrero, American Abatement and Demo

Chris Elwell, Sound Transit

Jim Huffman, District 1 Commissioner
Port of Douglas County

Labor Representatives

Karen Dove, ANEW

Marilyn Kennedy, Operative Plasterers' & Cement Masons International Association Local 528

Vacant

Public Representatives

Danny Carrao, Workforce Foundation

Suzanne Cook

Terri Fortner

Meeting Details

2022 Meeting Dates & Times

  • March 3, 2022 - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • June 2, 2022 - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • September 1, 2022 - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
  • December 8, 2022 - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Meeting Location

June 2, 2022 - 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Microsoft Teams Meeting
Click here to join the meeting.
Or call in (audio only): +1 253-372-2181,,947898344#

Meeting Materials

Meeting materials are available on this website for two years plus the current year. Contact CI Support for archived meeting documentation.

March 3, 2022 Meeting Materials
December 9, 2021 Meeting Materials
September 23, 2021 Meeting Materials
June 24, 2021 Meeting Materials
August 26, 2020 Meeting Materials