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Washington’s Way Forward: Reentry Centers Reimagined

April 10, 2024

By Lukas D'Ambrosio Communications Office

(Lukas D'Ambrosio, Communications Office)

The Wenatchee Valley Reentry Center, inaugurated in September 2023, marked a significant milestone in Washington state's approach to rehabilitation and community integration. Embracing the Amend and Washington Way principles, the center was meticulously designed to foster open concepts and bright living areas, setting the stage for residents' successful transition from incarceration to reentry. With its doors officially open to residents in March 2024, the center embodies a pivotal link between life in prison and life in the community.

At the core of the Wenatchee Valley and all Reentry Center's mission is the holistic development of their residents. By providing a supportive environment focused on employment, education, treatment, family reconnection, and life skills, the centers empower individuals to navigate the complexities of reintegration with confidence. The centers’ commitment to nurturing social and living skills underscores their role in facilitating a smoother transition for their residents, ultimately paving the way for sustainable success beyond the confines of incarceration.

As the first Reentry Center opened by the department in nearly 20 years, Wenatchee Valley signifies the department's continued dedication to Washington Way principles for both incarcerated individuals and staff.

“The biggest part of Washington Way is wellness of staff,” said Sergent Jeff Herrmann from the Tri-Cities Reentry Center. “If we’re assisting the population, and they’re having a good day, that means we’re having a good day.”

A recent study conducted by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy underscores the profound impact of reentry centers like Wenatchee Valley. For every dollar invested in such programs, the state stands to gain $3.82 in return, emphasizing the invaluable role of normalization in the reentry process.

By prioritizing normalization within its framework, the Wenatchee Valley Reentry Center not only cultivates a supportive environment for its residents but also lays the groundwork for their long-term success in maintaining employment, securing stable housing, and leading fulfilling lives.