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PRESS RELEASE: Corrections Secretary selected to lead national corrections committee

Released July 28, 2020

Contact Janelle Guthrie, (360) 764-9791

DOC Communications

TUMWATER – The Correctional Leaders Association (CLA) has announced Washington Department of Corrections Secretary Stephen Sinclair has been chosen to chair the CLA Program and Training Committee.

“CLA's Program and Training Committee is a vital function of our Association and provides opportunities for new and tenured Correctional leaders to be trained in today's best practices,” said CLA President John Wetzel, Secretary of Corrections for the state of Pennsylvania. “Steve’s ongoing commitment to exploring new and innovative ways to improve public safety, reduce recidivism and help prepare people to successfully reenter society makes him a logical choice to lead this committee.”

“It is a great honor and privilege to be able to give back to an organization that has given me so much and I have learned so much from,” Sinclair said.

Sinclair is a 30-year veteran of the Washington State Department of Corrections, who started his career as a correctional officer at the Washington State Penitentiary upon completing his service in the US Army. Sinclair gained progressively greater responsibilities as an investigator, sergeant, associate superintendent, superintendent, and assistant secretary of the Prisons Division.

As superintendent of the Washington State Penitentiary, Sinclair created and pioneered the Sustainable Practices Lab, which employs incarcerated individuals in jobs that reduce the cost of facility operations, provides meaningful vocational work and skills training while reducing idleness, and allows them the opportunity to give back to the community.

Since his appointment as Secretary, Sinclair has led his executive team in the development of revised agency values that integrate equitable treatment of all employees, embrace diversity and foster an environment of inclusion and respect. Sinclair has also championed the development and implementation of outcome-based management (Results DOC) throughout the operational divisions of the department.

Sinclair has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington. He is Co-Director of the Sustainability in Prisons Project and a member of the American Correctional Association and the Correctional Peace Officers Foundation. He is a 2009 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management.

Sinclair is dedicated to the agency mission to improve public safety by positively changing lives and to making advances to not only Washington States Corrections, but contributing to nationwide change.

The CLA is the most exclusive correctional association in the world. CLA Members are the leaders of each U.S. corrections agency, including, Los Angeles County, the District of Columbia, New York City, Philadelphia, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Military Corrections and any U.S. territory, possession, and/or commonwealth. Its members lead over 400,000 correctional professionals and work with approximately 8 million incarcerated individuals, probationers, and parolees. The CLA’s goal is to increase public safety by utilizing correctional best practices, emphasizing accountability and providing opportunities for people to change.

Washington State Department of Corrections is committed to operating a safe and humane corrections system and partnering with others to transform lives for a better Washington. With more than 8,000 employees, the department is responsible for more than 17,000 incarcerated individuals and work release residents as well as the active supervision of more than 21,000 formerly incarceraed individuals living in the community.