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PRESS RELEASE: Jeneva Cotton Named Prisons Deputy Director, Command B

Released August 27, 2019

Contact Janelle Guthrie, (360) 725-8737

DOC Communications

official agency photo of jeneva cotton

Deputy Director Jeneva Cotton (DOC Communications)

TUMWATER – Following a nationwide search, Jeneva Cotton has been named by Assistant Secretary Robert Herzog as the Prisons Deputy Director, Command B, beginning September 1, 2019. Cotton is responsible for overseeing the women’s facilities and will focus on aligning a system of gender responsivity and trauma informed care.

“The department is committed to helping women succeed during their time of incarceration and upon reentry into the community,” Herzog said. “Jeneva brings vast experience in gender responsive programming, risk assessment and classification to address the unique needs of our female populations.”

Cotton began her career in the Community Protection Unit at Corrections’ headquarters and then moved to Stafford Creek Corrections Center. She has held many positions during her tenure, including records specialist, correctional counselor, community corrections officer, correctional unit supervisor, community corrections specialist, program specialist, psychology associate and program administrator.

Cotton was involved in helping the agency move forward in evidence- and research-based practices to include Thinking for a ChangeYouTube video, core correctional practices, motivational interviewing and gender-responsive programming such as Beyond Trauma and Moving On. She piloted Thinking for a Change in the Chehalis field office and Moving On at Washington Corrections Center for Women. In 2015, she returned to Stafford Creek Corrections Center as the associate superintendent of programs.

Cotton has been an instructor for over 15 years with mentally ill incarcerated individuals, risk assessments, classification, programs, suicide prevention, evidence-based practices and Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA). She is certified as a domestic violence/sexual assault advocate for the State of Washington, and is certified by the U.S. Department of Justice as a PREA auditor.

In 1999, Cotton earned her Bachelor's degree in Social Services from Central Washington University, and her Master of Science degree in Psychology in 2009 from the University of Phoenix.

Cotton takes over from Eleanor Vernell who retired on June 30, 2019. Lisa Flynn, previous superintendent at Larch Corrections Center, will be the new program administrator for grievance issues, volunteer programs and coordinating services such as religious, mail and visitation.