PRESS RELEASE: Community Corrections Division reduces some supervision in response to COVID-19
Released March 24, 2020
TUMWATER – The Department of Corrections (DOC) has been working closely with Department of Health (DOH), the Office of Financial Management, State Human Resources Division, the State Emergency Management Division and other state agencies in developing plans to maintain the health and safety of DOC employees, those under supervision and our communities.
In response to directives from the Governor and the DOC Secretary, the Community Corrections Division (CCD) has made some significant changes to how it will monitor and supervise individuals in the community. These modifications will apply only during this public health crisis.
Contact Standards and Supervision Activities
The Community Corrections Division will focus supervision efforts on those cases deemed highest risk or posing a substantial threat to community safety. The Department will maintain current standards for the following supervised individuals, including the required number of face-to-face contacts, as long as it is safe to do so:
- Sexually Violent Predators (SVP)
- Sex offenders placed in a Least Restrictive Alternative (LRA)
- Offenders in the Offender Reentry Community Safety (ORCS) Program
- Individuals found Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity (NGRI)
- Individuals with an Insanity Acquittal (IAQ)
The Division will require one face-to-face contact per month for Community Custody Board cases, Level 3 sex offenders, conditional commutations and those designated as high risk. For low-risk individuals, or when medically necessary, and where possible, Community Corrections Officers (CCOs) have discretion to use regular telephonic and/or FaceTime contacts at least monthly.
Field contacts will only be conducted for a specified list of high-risk individuals within designated supervision categories and for investigations. All other field work will be suspended during this time.
The Department will be suspending all warrant sweeps and apprehension activities during this public health crisis. Corrections will continue to arrest individuals who pose a serious risk to community safety based on the violation behavior and officers will follow specific COVID-19 protocols.
Corrections will be suspending responses to law enforcement to meet for a transfer of custody following a law enforcement initiated arrest and DOC will not assume hospital watches at the request of law enforcement. Staff may perform transports in instances where DOC has initiated the arrest.
DOC has also suspended operation of all community based work crews until further notice.
“We appreciate and value all of our partnerships with local law enforcement and the Superior Courts,” said Mac Pevey, Assistant Secretary of the Community Corrections Division. “We believe these measures are in the best interest of staff, those we supervise, the community and our partners as a whole. We will resume normal operations as soon as it is safe to do so and/or as directed by our Governor. Please take care and stay safe during these extraordinary times.”
For the latest news about Corrections’ response to COVID-19, including frequently asked questions (FAQs) for staff and for the public, please visit our COVID-19 page on doc.wa.gov.