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News Archive

2021

June

06/16/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Sean Murphy Appointed Deputy Secretary of Correctional Operations for Department of Corrections
TUMWATER – Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Cheryl Strange has appointed former corrections leader Sean Murphy as Deputy Secretary of Correctional Operations for the department.
06/16/2021 | Corrections Recognizes LGBTQ Pride Month
TUMWATER – Corrections joins the nation in recognizing June as LGBTQ Pride Month, and supporting LGBTQ+ employees and allies.
06/09/2021 | Where Angels Gather: Incarcerated Individuals Across the State Create Benches for Shelton Memorial Park
SHELTON – A child’s death is one of the most painful things a parent can experience.
06/07/2021 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: August 2021 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) August 2021 meeting list.
06/02/2021 | Bee-ing Happy and Productive in Prison
SHELTON – Washington Corrections Center (WCC) has four new beehives.

May

05/26/2021 | Investment in Priority Hire Program to Help Formerly Incarcerated Individuals, People of Color Find Construction Jobs in Seattle
SEATTLE – When Victoria Garza entered prison in August 2018 for the second time, she never thought she would one day use the skills she learned in order to reinforce the metal structure components of the Washington State Convention Center’s expansion.
05/19/2021 | The Return of In-Person Visitation
When the COVID-19 outbreak hit in March 2020, visitation was closed to loved ones of incarcerated individuals.
05/19/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Pat Glebe Appointed Interim Assistant Secretary for Prisons
TUMWATER – Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) Secretary Cheryl Strange has appointed retired prisons leader Pat Glebe as interim Assistant Secretary of DOC’s Prisons Division.
05/12/2021 | Celebrating Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month
May is Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
05/09/2021 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: July 2021 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) July 2021 meeting list.
05/05/2021 | Providing Care and Compassion to Patients Behind Bars: An Interview with a Correctional Nurse
May is International Nurses Month.
05/03/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Corrections Resumes In-Person Visitation
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections is pleased to announce that Safe Start Corrections Visitation is moving forward, with first visit sessions occurring on May 9, 2021.

April

04/29/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Inslee Names Cheryl Strange new Department of Corrections Secretary
Gov. Jay Inslee today named Cheryl Strange secretary of Washington’s Department of Corrections (DOC).
04/28/2021 | Math & Science Fair at Cedar Creek
In April 2021, at the annual Math and Science Fair at Cedar Creek Corrections Center in Littlerock, Wash., approximately 20 socially distanced fathers used creativity and ingenuity during an outdoor event, making projects for their children.
04/21/2021 | Successful partnership brings healthier food options to incarcerated individuals
Starting in 2017, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) partnered together to bring healthier food and beverage options for incarcerated individuals, a population disproportionately affected by chronic diseases.
04/14/2021 | WCCW Braille Transcribers Chosen to Present at National Conference
GIG HARBOR – Two incarcerated women inside the Washington Corrections Center for Women’s (WCCW) Braille transcription program have been selected to give presentations at a national Braille conference on April 16, 2021.
04/07/2021 | Multi-Agency Event Seeks to Support Victims, Build Trust, Engage Communities during Crime Victims’ Rights Week
TUMWATER – Ken Paulson never imagined he would become an advocate for crime victims.
04/06/2021 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: June 2021 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) June 2021 meeting list.

March

03/31/2021 | The Importance of Conferences
While incarcerated at the Mission Creek Corrections Center in 2019, Nichole Alexander used the Parent-Teacher Teleconference resources, provided by the Washington State Department of Corrections.
03/29/2021 | News Spotlight: State of Washington v. Blake
A recent state Supreme Court ruling voids Washington’s simple possession of a controlled substance statute. Learn more in this news spotlight.
03/24/2021 | One year later – Corrections’ response to COVID-19
As the nation reached one year since the beginning of COVID-19 restrictions, the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) looks back on its response to COVID-19, first in support of other state agencies, then providing much needed produce to the state’s food banks, assisting with the low supply of hand sanitizer across the state all while following health and safety protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
03/17/2021 | Muckleshoot Tribe generously donates COVID-19 vaccine doses to Department of Corrections
The Washington State Department of Corrections continues to take steps to ensure incarcerated individuals have opportunities to engage in pro-social programs and activities that assist in a reduction of recidivism.
03/12/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Update on Supreme Court Ruling That Voids Statute Has Potential Implications for Sentences Imposed by Courts
TUMWATER – On February 25, 2021, the Washington State Supreme Court issued an opinion in State of Washington v. Blake (pdf), declaring that RCW 69.50.4013 (Washington’s simple possession of a controlled substance statute) violates the due process clause of the state and federal constitutions and is therefore void.
03/11/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Washington Department of Corrections Names Adrian Thompson as Interim Equity & Inclusion Administrator
TUMWATER – Washington Department of Corrections Names Adrian Thompson as Interim Equity & Inclusion Administrator
03/10/2021 | Women’s History Month: Representation in Corrections
March is Women’s History Month.
03/05/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Supreme Court Ruling That Voids Statute Has Potential Implications for Sentences Imposed by Courts
TUMWATER – A recent state Supreme Court ruling that voids Washington’s simple possession of a controlled substance statute may have possible implications for sentences imposed by the courts.
03/03/2021 | Remembering Chase Riveland – A life-long advocate for criminal justice reform
Chase Riveland, former Secretary of the Washington State Department of Corrections, passed away on January 30, 2021.
03/01/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Department of Corrections Names Jacque Coe as Communications Director
TUMWATER – Secretary Stephen Sinclair has named Jacque Coe as Communications Director for the Washington Department of Corrections, effective March 1, 2021.

February

02/24/2021 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: May 2021 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) May 2021 meeting list.
02/17/2021 | Washington and Oregon Lawmakers to Introduce Federal Legislation Advocating for Family Diversion Programs as Prison Alternative
OLYMPIA – Jenny Iredale missed a huge chunk of her daughter’s life while she was incarcerated.
02/10/2021 | Manufacturing Opportunities
At the Correctional Industries’ Textile Factory, located in the Airway Heights Corrections Center in Spokane County, you will see there are professional uniforms being produced for various state agencies.
02/09/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Fifth COVID-19 Related Incarcerated Death at Stafford Creek
TUMWATER – On February 9, 2021, an individual incarcerated at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, Wash. passed away at a community healthcare facility due to COVID-19.
02/05/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Fourth and Fifth COVID-19 Related Incarcerated Deaths at Airway Heights
TUMWATER – On the dates of January 26 and January 29, 2021, two individuals, both incarcerated at Airway Heights Corrections Center in Airway Heights, Wash., passed away at community healthcare facilities due to COVID-19.
02/03/2021 | DOC 101
Prison systems have been in existence for centuries, evolving from isolated colonies or dungeons to buildings with bars, and from inhumane chain gangs, to the current concept of mentoring and supporting those in our criminal justice system.
02/02/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Third COVID-19 Related Incarcerated Death at Airway Heights
TUMWATER – On February 2, 2021, an individual incarcerated at Airway Heights Corrections Center in Airway Heights, Wash., passed away at a community healthcare facility due to COVID-19.

January

01/27/2021 | Honoring Jayme 10 Years Later
MONROE – Correctional Officer Roland Pascua knew Jayme Biendl for about three years when she died in the line of duty in 2011.
01/26/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Secretary Stephen Sinclair Announces Retirement
TUMWATER – Stephen Sinclair, Washington State Department of Corrections Secretary, has announced his retirement effective May 1, following more than three decades of service to the state of Washington.
01/21/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Fourth COVID-19 Related Incarcerated Death at Stafford Creek
TUMWATER – On January 21, 2021, an individual incarcerated at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, Wash., passed away at a community healthcare facility due to COVID-19.
01/20/2021 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: April 2021 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) April 2021 meeting list.
01/20/2021 | DOC Donates Holiday Packages of Food, Toys to Incarcerated Individuals’ Families
The COVID-19 pandemic has limited in-person contact between incarcerated individuals and extended family.
01/17/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Third COVID-19 Related Incarcerated Death at Stafford Creek
TUMWATER – On Saturday, January 16, 2021, an individual incarcerated at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, Wash., passed away at a community healthcare facility due to COVID-19.
01/13/2021 | Preparing for a New Year
Each year provides a new opportunity for growth and learning.
01/10/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Second COVID-19 Related Incarcerated Death at Stafford Creek
TUMWATER – On Saturday, January 9, 2021, an individual incarcerated at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, Wash., passed away at a community healthcare facility due to COVID-19.
01/01/2021 | PRESS RELEASE: Second COVID-Related Incarcerated Death at Washington State Penitentiary
TUMWATER – On December 31, 2020, an individual incarcerated at Washington State Penitentiary passed away at a local healthcare facility due to COVID-19 related illness.

2020

December

12/31/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Second COVID-Related Incarcerated Death at Airway Heights
TUMWATER – On December 26, 2020, an individual incarcerated at Airway Heights Corrections Center passed away at a local healthcare facility due to COVID-19 related illness.
12/30/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Second Washington Corrections Employee Dies from COVID-19
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections was notified that Correctional Officer David A. Christensen, 62 years of age, passed away on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, from complications of COVID-19.
12/30/2020 | Virtually Honoring a Life Lost: Registration for Annual Biendl Memorial Run Closes Jan. 4
MONROE – Each year, the Washington State Department of Corrections, partnering law enforcement agencies and the greater Monroe community come together to celebrate the life of fallen Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl.
12/29/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Corrections Receives Limited COVID-19 Vaccine for Prioritized Patients and Staff
TUMWATER – As of December 28, 2020, the Washington State Department of Corrections has received limited COVID-19 vaccine doses and began vaccinating staff and a limited number of incarcerated individuals, according to the approved Phase 1A dosing prioritization.
12/23/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Congress Votes to Lift Ban on Pell Grants for People in Prison
TUMWATER – On December 21, 2020, lawmakers in Congress voted to lift a 26-year-old ban on Pell Grants for people in prison.
12/23/2020 | Formerly Incarcerated Individual Makes Positive Changes
Washington State Department of Corrections is committed to our community – understanding individuals, instilling hope, embracing change and providing opportunities.
12/18/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: First COVID-Related Incarcerated Death at Airway Heights
TUMWATER – On December 18, 2020, an individual incarcerated at Airway Heights Corrections Center passed away at a local healthcare facility due to COVID-19 related illness.
12/17/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Secretary Sinclair Receives National Corrections Award
Washington State Department of Corrections, Secretary Stephen Sinclair, is the 2020 recipient of the Clements Award, presented by the national Correctional Leaders Association.
12/16/2020 | Corrections’ 2020 Year in Review
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected how all employees do their jobs and Corrections is no exception.
12/10/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: First COVID-Related Incarcerated Death at Stafford Creek
TUMWATER – On December 10, 2020, an individual incarcerated at Stafford Creek Corrections Center passed away at a local healthcare facility due to COVID-19 related illness.
12/09/2020 | A First Responder for the Heart and Soul
As an avid mountaineer and volunteer police chaplain, Katjarina Hurt knows firsthand the mental and emotional toll frequent exposure to trauma can have on first responders.
12/04/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: March 2021 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) March 2021 meeting list.
12/02/2020 | Sustenance for the Future
Over 15 million meals are served annually within the Washington State Department of Corrections facilities but where are those prepared meals made?

November

11/25/2020 | Indigenous Partnerships in 2020
The Washington State Department of Corrections recognizes the significance and importance of incarcerated individuals’ constitutionally protected rights to believe, express and exercise their religion.
11/22/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Third Incarcerated Individual in Washington Dies of COVID-19
TUMWATER – On Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, an incarcerated patient at the Washington State Penitentiary, in Walla Walla, Wash., passed away due to COVID-19 related issues.
11/18/2020 | Employees serve as heroic inspiration
At the Washington State Department of Corrections, you will find staff members who dedicate themselves to the work they do, with a heart of service.
11/10/2020 | Corrections Employing and Supporting Veterans
For years, the Washington State Department of Corrections has been a proud employer of veterans.
11/04/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: February 2021 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) February 2021 meeting list.
11/04/2020 | Corrections' Hope Gardens Donate Over 73,879 Pounds of Produce During Pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so has food insecurity.
11/02/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: January 2021 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) January 2021 meeting list.

October

10/30/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Correctional Industries Seeking Advisory Committee Members
TUMWATER – Correctional Industries, the Washington Department of Corrections’ division focused on vocational education and job readiness of the incarcerated population, is seeking three representatives on its advisory committee.
10/28/2020 | Washington Corrections Continues Restrictive Housing Reforms
The Washington State Department of Corrections reduced the number of people in administrative segregation, one of two types of the department’s restrictive housing measures, by approximately 10 percent during the first half of calendar year 2020—despite the challenges of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
10/21/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Department of Corrections and Amend at UCSF Announce New Partnership
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections and Amend at the University of California San Francisco have launched a partnership to continue efforts in achieving further pro-social improvements in the Washington correctional system.
10/14/2020 | COVID-19 Serial Staff Testing
To help keep staff and incarcerated safe, Washington State Department of Corrections recently implemented COVID serial testing for staff.
10/07/2020 | Back to School
For students attending school in 2020, the coronavirus put classes to a grinding halt this spring.

September

09/30/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Susan Biller Named Interim Communications Director
TUMWATER – Secretary Stephen Sinclair has named Susan Biller as the interim communications director for the Washington Department of Corrections, effective October 12, 2020. Biller currently serves as the public information officer for the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC).
09/30/2020 | Corrections comes together during COVID-19
With teams of individuals across the state highly trained in emergency response, the Department of Corrections frequently deploys employees with a wide range of skills from a variety of divisions to assist in incidents and law enforcement task forces both in-state and across the nation.
09/23/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Corrections Announces Social Outing Pilot Project for Three Work Release Facilities
TUMWATER – As various counties move through the Governor’s Safe Start phased reopening plan, effective September 23, 2020, the Washington Department of Corrections is re-establishing social outings with strict criteria to protect families, incarcerated individuals, staff and communities at work release facilities in three pilot locations.
09/23/2020 | A 20/20 vision for resilience in an ever-changing world
Roughly once a week, Department of Corrections' Chief Staff Psychologist Dr. Phil Gibson takes the agency's headquarters Emergency Operations Center staff to Hawaii for approximately five minutes.
09/18/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Corrections Appoints New Assistant Secretary for Health Services Division
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections has named Daniel S. Johnson as the Assistant Secretary for Health Services, effective September 21, 2020.
09/16/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Corrections Names New Deputy Communications Director
TUMWATER – The Department of Corrections has appointed Rachel Noll as its new Deputy Communications Director effective September 16, 2020.
09/16/2020 | Ratcliff Work Release Residents Complete First Gender-Responsive Virtual Health and Wellness Reentry Course
SEATTLE – From locating reproductive health care to learning how to be resilient after years of exposure to violent relationships prior to incarceration, justice-involved women face different obstacles during reentry than those of their male counterparts.
09/14/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: November and December 2020 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) November and December 2020 meeting list.
09/09/2020 | Incarcerated Individuals Raise $12,000 for YWCA Programs
TACOMA – Local organizations that help shelter people who are homeless and survivors of domestic violence in Puget Sound received thousands of dollars in donations, thanks to incarcerated individuals from correctional facilities across Washington.
09/03/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Corrections Secretary Outlines COVID-19 Response at Six Months
TUMWATER – As the Washington State Department of Corrections passes the six-month mark of its active emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Secretary Steve Sinclair provided an update on the department’s current status, key elements of its response and a look to the future at a virtual news conference from its headquarters in Olympia.
09/02/2020 | Corrections’ first virtual job fair attracts 338 individuals to help fill vital needs across the state
The Washington State Department of Corrections recently took its talent acquisition efforts online as the department worked to fill more than 100 vital correctional officer, healthcare and other jobs at facilities statewide.

August

08/28/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Washington State Patrol investigation finds Corrections followed procedure in deadly assault by incarcerated individual
TUMWATER – The Washington State Patrol Investigative Services Bureau has released the results (pdf) of its independent investigation into the events that resulted in the death of an incarcerated individual at the Airway Heights Corrections Center in Airway Heights, Wash.
08/26/2020 | Stafford Creek Partners to Raise Money for Aberdeen School Scholarships
ABERDEEN – Stafford Creek Corrections Center (SCCC) is helping with a fundraiser aimed at beautifying the community, while providing scholarships to Aberdeen High School students.
08/19/2020 | From Grievance to Resolution: Words Matter
The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has long had an administrative process to ensure those under its custody have the ability to share concerns with and seek remedies from agency leadership.
08/14/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Governor appoints Pierce County attorney to Indeterminate Sentence Review Board
TUMWATER – Govenor Jay Inslee has appointed TaTeasha Davis to Washington’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board, a quasi-judicial board located within the Department of Corrections that hears cases, conducts hearings, oversees supervision violation hearings and provides services to victims of inmates under the board's jurisdiction.
08/12/2020 | The Buzz About Honey Bees
August 15, 2020 is National Honey Bee Day, an annual celebration shared by beekeepers, and beekeeping clubs and associations across the country.
08/05/2020 | Growing Indigenous Medicines and a Sense of Community
WALLA WALLA – The Washington State Department of Corrections continues to take steps to ensure incarcerated individuals have opportunities to engage in pro-social programs that assist in a reduction of recidivism.

July

07/29/2020 | Preserving Sacred Traditions During a Pandemic
BELFAIR – JoiSky Caudill ignites a bundle of cedar and sweet grass inside an abalone shell at Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women (MCCCW).
07/28/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Corrections Secretary selected to lead national corrections committee
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.
07/23/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: October 2020 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) October 2020 meeting list.
07/22/2020 | Keeping Corrections Sanitized
With society’s supply of hand sanitizer extremely low in early March due to COVID-19, Washington State Department of Corrections' Correctional Industries (CI) decided to help people's safety by beginning to make hand sanitizer.
07/21/2020 | Pledge to You (pdf)
When I wrote this it was day 133 of the Department’s COVID-19 pandemic response and I wanted to pause and reflect.
07/08/2020 | Soroptimist International Helps Formerly Incarcerated Woman Live Her Dreams
Daidre (pronounced DAY-dree) Kimp-Carter never thought spending time in a correctional facility would lead her to a newfound career path.
07/01/2020 | Trees Inside a Prison?
WALLA WALLA – The Washington State Penitentiary is a lot like other correctional facilities.

June

06/30/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Coyote Ridge Correctional Center releases preliminary test results lower than state weekly average
CONNELL – The Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (CRCC) today released preliminary COVID-19 test results after testing more than 1,800 individuals incarcerated in its Medium Security Complex and 660 staff working across the entire facility from June 24-29, 2020.
06/24/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Second Incarcerated Individual in Washington Dies of COVID-19
CONNELL – At approximately 7 p.m., on Monday, June 22, 2020, incarcerated individual William Bryant, 72, passed away at a local medical facility due to COVID-19.
06/18/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: First Incarcerated Individual in Washington Dies of COVID-19
TUMWATER – On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, an incarcerated patient of the Washington state correctional system passed away due to COVID-19.
06/17/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Corrections cancels contract to house women at Yakima County Jail
TUMWATER – Due to the state’s efforts to reduce correctional facility populations to prevent the spread of COVID-19, more than 150 women have transferred to the community.
06/11/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: September 2020 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) September 2020 meeting list.
06/11/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Coyote Ridge Corrections Center Medium Security Complex on restricted movement to contain COVID-19
CONNELL – The Department of Corrections has placed the Medium Security Complex at the Coyote Ridge Corrections Center (CRCC) on restricted movement to contain the spread of COVID-19 at the facility.
06/10/2020 | Larch Wood Biomass Energy System Could Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
YACOLT – The Department of Corrections recently received its first grant for a proposed wood biomass energy system at Larch Corrections Center.
06/04/2020 | Ongoing Commitment to Supporting Each Other (pdf)
In this time of deep turmoil in our state and across the nation, I want to share my deep and ongoing commitment to you, our Corrections family, and to those we support both within our facilities and in the community.

May

05/29/2020 | Corrections Hope Gardens to Help Fight Hunger in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
TUMWATER – While parts of Washington move into Phase II of the Governor’s Safe Start plan, the state’s food banks are reporting greater needs — all while facing a 70 percent drop in donations, according to the WA Food Fund.
05/29/2020 | Airway Heights Excited to Work With Local Master Garden to Use Every Inch of Garden Space to Grow and Donate Produce to the Community (pdf)
AIRWAY HEIGHTS – Recognizing a heightened need for fresh produce in response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, incarcerated individuals at the Airway Heights Corrections Center planted various vegetables in their approximately 1.5-acre J Garden.
05/29/2020 | Coyote Ridge Expands Gardens, Plants 1,000 Vegetable Plants to Assist With Community Needs Due to Pandemic (pdf)
CONNELL – The Coyote Ridge Corrections Center has spent the last several months collaborating between staff and incarcerated individuals to create positive change and provide opportunities to give back to the community through expansion of garden areas at Coyote Ridge.
05/29/2020 | Mission Creek Joins Hope Garden Effort to Fight Community Hunger During COVID-19 Pandemic (pdf)
BELFAIR – Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity has increased in communities across the state.
05/29/2020 | Stafford Creek Expands Gardens to Assist With Community Needs Due to Pandemic (pdf)
ABERDEEN – Stafford Creek Corrections Center is adding 14,950 square ft. and a variety of produce to their existing 30,000 square feet of facility gardens.
05/29/2020 | Washington Corrections Center Continues Plans to Support Food Banks, Community Needs During Pandemic (pdf)
SHELTON – The Washington Corrections Center in Shelton donated 27,652 pounds of produce to local food banks in 2019.
05/29/2020 | Washington State Penitentiary Expands Gardens by 101 Acres to Assist With Community Needs Due to Pandemic (pdf)
WALLA WALLA – The Washington State Penitentiary is adding 90 acres of garbanzo beans, 10 acres of other vegetables and another acre of pumpkins to the 10 and a half acres already planted in its sustainability garden and its Sustainable Practices Lab Green Zone.
05/21/2020 | Correctional Nurses Make a Difference
Each year from May 6-12, the nation recognizes nurses for their contributions to society.
05/18/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: First Washington Corrections Line of Duty Death from COVID-19
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections was notified that Correctional Officer Berisford Anthony Morse, 65 years of age, passed away on Sunday, May 17, 2020 from complications of COVID-19.
05/14/2020 | Supporting Incarcerated Moms
GIG HARBOR – Taking care of an infant demands a great deal of responsibilities for any parent.
05/14/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Department of Corrections names Todd Dowler Director of Human Resources
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections welcomes Todd Dowler as its new director of human resources, effective May 18, 2020.
05/08/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: August 2020 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) August 2020 meeting list.
05/06/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Washington State Department of Corrections Announces Annual Agency Award Winners
TUMWATER – As Washington joins the nation in celebrating Corrections Officers and Employees week this week, the Department of Corrections is proud to announce the winners of its Annual Agency Awards.

April

04/29/2020 | Virtual Visiting: Skype Connects Work Release Residents to Family
KENNEWICK – Work release resident Kyle Fowler sat anxiously in front of a laptop one afternoon.
04/24/2020 | Food Service Programs Provide Nutritious Food and Valuable Experience
The Department of Corrections (DOC) food service programs provide cost effective, healthy and quality meals to the 16,596 incarcerated individuals in the state’s 12 correctional facilities.
04/17/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: July 2020 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) July 2020 meeting list.
04/16/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Corrections Announces Upcoming Transfer of Individuals Back to the Community
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections is planning for the transfer of incarcerated individuals back to their communities. The goal in transferring a limited number of individuals to the community is to provide more physical distancing within the state’s correctional facilities.
04/15/2020 | Crime Victims’ Rights Week: An Interview with a Community Victim Liaison
National Crime Victims' Rights week is April 19–25, 2020. This year’s theme, "Seek Justice | Ensure Victims' Rights | Inspire Hope," celebrates the progress made by advocates who paved the way as we look to a future of crime victim services that is even more inclusive, accessible, and trauma-informed.
04/13/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Department of Corrections Continues to Take Necessary Steps to Protect Health of Incarcerated
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections is planning for the limited transfer of incarcerated individuals back to the community, after weeks of planning and preparation.
04/10/2020 | Corrections Commitment to Public Safety Throughout COVID-19
The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) is privileged to have staff well trained in emergency management.
04/08/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Disturbance at Monroe Correctional Complex Under Control
TUMWATER – On Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at approximately 6:00 p.m., over 100 incarcerated minimum custody men began engaging in a demonstration in the recreation yard at Monroe Correctional Complex.
04/07/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Additional Positive COVID-19 Tests for Incarcerated Individuals within Monroe Correctional Complex
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections has received confirmation that two additional incarcerated men housed within the Monroe Correctional Complex have tested positive for COVID-19.
04/05/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: First Positive COVID-19 Test for Incarcerated Individual within Washington State Correctional Facility
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections has received confirmation that an incarcerated man housed within a Washington state correctional facility has tested positive for COVID-19.
04/03/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Issuance of N95 Respirators to Correctional Staff
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections has begun to issue expired N95 respirators to staff who work closely with those incarcerated in state correctional facilities, work release centers and supervised under community custody.

March

03/30/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Corrections launches Rapid Staff Hiring to fill immediate needs for correctional officers
TUMWATER – With response to COVID-19 expected to affect the Department of Corrections’ staffing levels over the coming months, the department is implementing an expedited hiring and training process for ‘Limited Scope Correctional Officer 1 (CO1)’ positions.
03/30/2020 | A Stitch in Time Saves Lives (video story)
The Coyote Ridge Corrections Center textiles factory is typically producing 1,800 to 2,000 clothing garments a week.
03/28/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Incarcerated Patient at Snohomish County Medical Center Tests Positive for COVID-19
TUMWATER – On Tuesday, March 3, 2020, an incarcerated patient was transported to a Snohomish County medical center from the Monroe Correctional Complex for medically necessary health care that could not be provided at the correctional facility.
03/24/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Community Corrections Division reduces some supervision in response to COVID-19
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.
03/21/2020 | DOC working to assist in protective gown shortage
TUMWATER – Department of Corrections’ Correctional Industries (CI) will begin producing protective gowns in response to the nationwide shortage.
03/20/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Department of Corrections negotiates free calls and reduced digital costs for incarcerated population
TUMWATER – In response to the escalating threat of COVID-19, the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has had to limit visitation and programming across the prison system.
03/18/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: June 2020 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) June 2020 meeting list.
03/18/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Third Confirmed Case of COVID-19 reported by Corrections Employee
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has now received confirmation that a third employee has tested positive for COVID-19.
03/18/2020 | Thinking for a Change Helps Formerly Incarcerated Navigate New Lives in Our Communities
Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) believes that reentry starts at reception.
03/14/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: Second Department of Corrections Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
TUMWATER – Late on March 13, 2020, a Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) employee working on the third floor of Department of Corrections Headquarters reported they tested positive for COVID-19.
03/13/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: First Department of Corrections Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19
TUMWATER – Late yesterday, the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) confirmed that an employee working at the Monroe Correctional Complex-Washington State Reformatory (MCC-WSR) has tested positive for COVID-19.
03/12/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: DOC Suspending Visitation, Limiting Other Events
TUMWATER – The Department of Corrections takes the health and safety of our staff and incarcerated individuals very seriously.
03/11/2020 | Making it Click: How One Washington Prison is Preparing Women for STEM Careers (video story)
GIG HARBOR – Students in this computer coding class share ideas for mobile apps they are designing.
03/04/2020 | Pilot Program at Stafford Creek to Identify, Help Incarcerated with Traumatic Brain Injuries
ABERDEEN – Stafford Creek Corrections Center is the site of a new pilot program that will identify incarcerated individuals with traumatic brain injuries, thanks to a federal grant.

February

02/26/2020 | A Day in the Life – Special Offender Unit
The Special Offender Unit (SOU) at Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC) is arguably one of the most unique state correctional facilities run by Washington Department of Corrections.
02/20/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: May 2020 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) May 2020 meeting list.
02/19/2020 | Read to Me, Daddy (video story)
Once incarcerated, parents are able to stay connected with their families through visits and phone calls but there are fewer ways for parents to stay connected in the learning development of their child.
02/12/2020 | Corrections looks to Norway for inspiration on reforms
TUMWATER – As the rain intermittently spills from the skies in Shelton, it is a typical busy Friday morning at Washington Corrections Center.
02/05/2020 | Making the US Census Count for Corrections (video story)
The 2020 census is almost here.

January

01/30/2020 | PRESS RELEASE: JC Miller Named Superintendent at Larch Corrections Center
TUMWATER – James “JC” Miller, Jr. has been appointed by Assistant Secretary Robert Herzog as the superintendent of Larch Corrections Center in Yacolt, Wash. effective Saturday, February 1, 2020.
01/29/2020 | Legislators consider expanding access to higher education in Washington correctional facilities
OLYMPIA – Incarcerated individuals may soon have more opportunities to complete college degrees while in correctional facilities.
01/24/2020 | Incarcerated Artists to Raise Money for YWCA
TACOMA – Incarcerated artists in correctional facilities all over the state are raising money for social justice causes and victims of domestic violence through the Unguarded Art Auction at LeMay America’s Car Museum.
01/15/2020 | Day in the Life – Corrections Officer: A day in a living unit
Our differences are what make us unique as a team.
01/08/2020 | Honoring a Life Lost: Annual Biendl Memorial Run/Walk
MONROE – Nine years ago, the death of Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl left an agency and a community stunned.
01/03/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: April 2020 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) April 2020 meeting list.
01/03/2020 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: March 2020 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) March 2020 meeting list.

2019

December

12/24/2019 | Diversity in December (video story)
TUMWATER – The month of December includes a variety of cultural holidays, religious days and celebrations.
12/18/2019 | Secure Internet Access Expands Horizons
GIG HARBOR – Education in Washington’s correctional facilities received a huge boost from legislators in 2019 when they approved a pilot project to explore providing secure internet access for incarcerated individuals.
12/11/2019 | Changing the Narrative of Formerly Incarcerated Women
BELFAIR – Sometimes experiencing adversity is required for your success.
12/04/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Melena Thompson Appointed as New Executive Policy Director
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) has selected Melena Thompson as its new Executive Policy Director, replacing Alex MacBain, who was recruited earlier this year to lead the House Democratic Caucus as Chief of Staff.
12/04/2019 | Trailblazing for Women’s Equity On and Off the Court
GIG HARBOR – “When our powers combine, we change lives.”
12/03/2019 | Policy Feedback: January 2020 Review/Revisions (pdf)
Policies enclosed in this release are scheduled to be assigned to the author for review in November & January 2020.

November

11/27/2019 | Native American Heritage Month (video story)
Since 1990, November has been nationally recognized as Native American Heritage Month.
11/25/2019 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: February 2020 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) February 2020 meeting list.
11/20/2019 | C’est Magnifique! Washington’s Correctional Gardens Draw Overseas Interest
Washington’s correctional produce gardens are well known throughout the state.
11/13/2019 | Incarcerated Individual Technology Services (video story)
The technology services available in Washington’s state correctional facilities provide incarcerated individuals with a way to keep in contact with families and friends.
11/06/2019 | Policy Feedback: November/December 2019 Review/Revisions (pdf)
Policies enclosed in this release are scheduled to be assigned to the author for review in November & December 2019.
11/06/2019 | Stafford Creek Corrections Center Launches First Prison-Based American Legion Post
ABERDEEN – A group of incarcerated veterans at Stafford Creek Corrections Center now have a way to decompress, while putting their leadership skills to good use, thanks to the American Legion.

October

10/30/2019 | Restoring Voting Rights for the Formerly Incarcerated
TUMWATER – Connor Barker is looking forward to when he can next cast his ballot.
10/28/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Washington Corrections Secretary and Vera Institute to study prison reforms in Norway
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections unveiled a new mission statement last week: To improve public safety by positively changing lives.
10/23/2019 | The Parenting Sentencing Alternative (video story)
After spending time at the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor, Chantal Trotter was looking to make a change in her life.
10/16/2019 | New Body Scanner at Women’s Facility (video story)
In February, Washington Corrections Center for Women installed a body scanner in the facility’s visitation room.
10/15/2019 | Policy Feedback: November 2019 Review/Revisions (pdf)
Policies enclosed in this release are scheduled to be assigned to the author for review in November 2019.
10/10/2019 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: January 2020 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) January 2020 meeting list.
10/09/2019 | Changing Prison Culture through Mentorship
SHELTON – As the Washington Corrections Center’s (WCC) new religious coordinator, Malik Shakoor, wants to teach inmates that with the right motivation anyone can change.
10/02/2019 | Policy Feedback: October 2019 Review/Revisions (pdf)
Policies enclosed in this release are scheduled to be assigned to the author for review in October 2019.
10/02/2019 | Malik Shakoor: Religious Coordinator
SHELTON – Malik Shakoor (pronounced MAL-ick SHA-coor) walks across the prison yard at Washington Corrections Center (WCC) and with a wide grin, he shakes the hand of everyone he meets.

September

09/25/2019 | Itching to be Stitching: Airway Heights Inmates Donate Quilts
AIRWAY HEIGHTS – Families experiencing homelessness, female victims of domestic violence, and teens in overnight shelters will be a little warmer, thanks to some inmates at Airway Heights Corrections Center.
09/18/2019 | Identifying Solutions (video story)
A new program, called Identicards, has been implemented into Washington State's correctional facilities.
09/11/2019 | Honored to Serve (video story)
The department recognizes the need for its employees to represent at recognition ceremonies, memorial services, and other public events.
09/06/2019 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: December 2019 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) December 2019 meeting list.
09/04/2019 | Backpack to School (video story)
LITTLEROCK – With the start of school right around the corner, Cedar Creek Corrections Center in Littlerock, hosted a back to school event for the children of incarcerated individuals.

August

08/28/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: JC Miller Named Interim Superintendent at Larch Corrections Center
TUMWATER – James “JC” Miller has been appointed by Assistant Secretary Robert Herzog as the interim superintendent of Larch Corrections Center in Yacolt, Wash., effective Sunday, September 1, 2019.
08/28/2019 | Working Together for Worship (video story)
For the past three years, the Wiccan, Druid, Asatru, and Pagan religious groups at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center have gathered together every May for a communal celebration of spring.
08/27/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Jeneva Cotton Named Prisons Deputy Director, Command B
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.
08/21/2019 | Anchoring Their Future (video story)
There are many jobs incarcerated individuals can have while in prison.
08/15/2019 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: November 2019 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) November 2019 meeting list.
08/14/2019 | Going the Extra Mile (video story)
BELFAIR – Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women held its annual Relay for Life event in June 2019 and raised about $2,500 for the American Cancer Society, the event sponsor, to aid in the search for a cure.
08/12/2019 | Changing Ewe and Me
As Gary Kemper starts his day, he’s greeted with the insistent cry of 18 two-month old lambs.
08/11/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Department of Corrections Searching for Inmate Who Escaped From Olympic Corrections Center
FORKS – Washington Department of Corrections and local law enforcement are searching for inmate, Mark David Vannausdle, 60, who escaped from the Olympic Corrections Center at approximately 7:08 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, while en route from his living unit to the dining facility.
08/07/2019 | Salmon Habitat Restoration
POULSBO – Women from Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women are helping salmon make a comeback—one blackberry bush at a time.
08/01/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Janelle Guthrie Named Communications Director
TUMWATER – Secretary Stephen Sinclair has named Janelle Guthrie as the communications director for the Washington Department of Corrections effective August 1, 2019.

July

07/31/2019 | Amazing GRACE: Inmate-Led Garden Grows Vegetables, Hope
POULSBO – Violet Garcia crouches among rows of lush, green kale and lettuce. Her tan work shoes are caked with dirt, evidence of her hard work.
07/29/2019 | Music Brings a Message to Washington Corrections Center for Women
A powerful melody resonated throughout the halls of Washington Corrections Center for Women as the three-woman band, Trillium-239, played ‘This Land is Your Land’ for the incarcerated women.
07/24/2019 | Redemption for the Future (video story)
AIRWAY HEIGHTS – After 21 weeks a group of men at Airway Heights Corrections Center is now celebrating their graduation from The Redemption Project course.
07/19/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Department of Corrections Searching for Inmate Who Escaped From Work Crew
LITTLEROCK – Washington Department of Corrections and local law enforcement are searching for an inmate, Jeffrey Allen Beach, 29, who escaped from a Correctional Industries work crew working at the Washington Department of Transportation-Ferries warehouse in Seattle, Wash., at approximately 10:46 a.m. on Friday, July 19, 2019.
07/17/2019 | Celebrating Asian Pacific Islander Heritage
Colorful leis and floral lava-lava skirts could be seen twirling around at Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) as the incarcerated individuals and their guests gathered together for the annual Asian Pacific Islander cultural event.
07/12/2019 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: October 2019 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) October 2019 meeting list.
07/10/2019 | The Road to Opportunities (video story)
TUMWATER – For the past year, the Department of Corrections has teamed with the Washington State Department of Transportation to provide those releasing into the community a chance to work for the state.
07/08/2019 | Renton Field Office Celebrates End of School Year
Games and music took over the Renton Field Office for the End of the School Year event, held in late June.
07/03/2019 | Steering Toward a New Direction (video story)
Classic car shows are a staple of summer. One place you wouldn’t expect to find a car show is inside a prison.
07/03/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Department of Corrections to Expand Work Release
TUMWATER – Thanks to the proactive actions of the Washington Legislature and support of Governor Inslee, the Department of Corrections is expanding its work release program.

June

06/26/2019 | Fishing with Fathers at Cedar Creek (video story)
Incarcerated fathers and their families gathered together to celebrate Father’s Day at Cedar Creek Corrections Center.
06/26/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Officer Use of Force at the Washington State Penitentiary
WALLA WALLA – On Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at approximately 7:48 p.m., three incarcerated individuals were engaged in a physical altercation at the Washington State Penitentiary recreation yard.
06/20/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Jeneva Cotton Named Correctional Program Administrator
TUMWATER – Jeneva Cotton has been named by Assistant Secretary Robert Herzog as the agency-wide correctional program administrator as of July 1, 2019.
06/19/2019 | The Buzz on McNeil Island (video story)
McNEIL ISLAND – The environment on McNeil Island is quiet and serene. There’s no traffic.
06/18/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Correctional Industries Seeking New Advisory Committee Members
TUMWATER – Correctional Industries, the Washington Department of Corrections’ division focused on vocational education and job readiness of the incarcerated population, is seeking six new representatives on its advisory committee.
06/17/2019 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: September 2019 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) September 2019 meeting list.
06/12/2019 | ‘Bluming’ Where You’re At (video story)
Robert Blum started working at Pine Lodge Corrections Center in 1977. During his fifteen years with the facility, he was recognized for being Pine Lodge’s Correctional Officer of the Year.
06/05/2019 | Scouts ‘Tagalong’ with Mom (video story)
GIG HARBOR – Tasty thin mints and tagalongs cookies covered the tables at Washington Corrections Center for Women. The occasion was for a monthly Girl Scouts Beyond Bars meeting.

May

05/31/2019 | On TRAC to Rebuilding Themselves
BELFAIR – Shawna Norberg looks like any construction worker. Dressed in gloves, a hardhat and a reflective vest, she kneels beside a mat of rebar and talks about what she’s learned.
05/28/2019 | Torch Run (video story)
Department of Corrections employees will be donning uniforms of t-shirts and running shoes this week as part of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraiser for Special Olympics Washington.
05/24/2019 | Interviewing Skills (video story)
For the past few years, Correctional Industries (CI) has given those approaching their release date the chance to practice their interview skills, while also networking with employers during a mock interview event.
05/23/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Multi-person Disturbance at Clallam Bay Corrections Center
CLALLAM BAY – On Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 7:30 p.m., approximately 81 individuals began engaging in a physical altercation in the recreation yard at Clallam Bay Corrections Center.
05/23/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Alfred Smack Named Superintendent at Cedar Creek Corrections Center
TUMWATER – Alfred “Al” Smack has been appointed by Assistant Secretary Robert Herzog as the superintendent of Cedar Creek Corrections Center in Littlerock, Wash. effective Saturday, June 1, 2019.
05/17/2019 | Say Cheese! (video story)
Thanks to a partnership between the Washington Department of Licensing and the incarcerated men at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, select state licensing offices will have kiosks and backdrops at each office counter for more efficient customer service.
05/16/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: The Washington State Department of Corrections Partners with the Vera Institute to Focus on Restricted Housing Reforms
TUMWATER – The Department of Corrections is excited to announce its partnership with the Vera Institute of Justice as it launches a new phase of restrictive housing reform, Safe Prisons, Safe Communities: From Isolation to Dignity and Wellness Behind Bars.
05/10/2019 | Celebrating Mom
GIG HARBOR – “Mommy, look at my ring,” a bright, young girl exclaims, showing her mother a piece of jewelry on her hand.
05/10/2019 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: August 2019 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) August 2019 meeting list.
05/07/2019 | National Nurses Week (video story)
Every year since 1993, the American Nurses Association has declared the week of May 6-12 National Nurses Week to give communities and organizations all over the nation the chance to commemorate the immense contributions and impact of the four million currently registered nurses in America.
05/03/2019 | From Monroe to Midfield (video story)
While at Monroe Correctional Complex, Katrina Rooks and Krystal Craig take blood pressures and organize medical records.

April

04/26/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Washington State DOC Announces Agency Award Winners
TUMWATER – The Washington State Department of Corrections is pleased to announce the winners of its Annual Agency Awards.
04/26/2019 | The Easter Bunny Hops to Larch (video story)
Egg and bunny decorations filled the dining hall at Larch Corrections Center on Easter Sunday.
04/23/2019 | Scientific Discoveries with Dad
LITTLEROCK – Various experiments and displays filled the gym at Cedar Creek Corrections Center for the annual Math & Science Fair in late March.
04/19/2019 | Volunteering Together (video story)
SHELTON – Pamela Deacon-Joyner sorts through piles of men’s shirts, pants, and shoes at Washington Corrections Center (WCC) in Shelton, Washington.
04/12/2019 | ‘Makeup’ For Lost Time (video story)
YACOLT – Hairspray, bobby pins, and lipstick filled the tables of Larch Corrections Center’s visiting room as incarcerated dads and their daughters learned how to style hair and do makeup at the annual father/daughter event.
04/11/2019 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: July 2019 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) July 2019 meeting list.
04/05/2019 | Recognizing Crime Victims' Rights
TUMWATER – Department of Corrections’ Victim Services Program Manager Sheila Lewallen has worked with hundreds of crime victims over her 40-year career in advocacy.
04/03/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Book Donation Acceptance Process
TUMWATER – The Washington Department of Corrections is dedicated to ensuring safety for incarcerated individuals, staff and the greater community.

March

03/29/2019 | Make the Grade (video story)
Parental involvement in education is critical and can be linked to student achievement.
03/22/2019 | Celebrating African American History (video story)
GIG HARBOR – Black History Month was first celebrated in 1970.
03/15/2019 | Rollin’ Past Fear: DOC Classification Counselor is Derby Dame (video story)
SHELTON – Kathleen Glennon leads a double-life.
03/13/2019 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: June 2019 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) June 2019 meeting list.
03/12/2019 | Thinking for a Change & High School Graduation
TACOMA – The Tacoma Unit 2 Field Office held a Thinking for a Change (T4C) program graduation.
03/08/2019 | Working Toward Release (video story)
As inmates get ready to release from prison, many will find themselves eligible for work release.
03/01/2019 | Lambs and Turtles and Bees, Oh My!
A prison can conjure images of concertina wire, heavy cell doors, and prominent watchtowers.

February

02/22/2019 | Cupcakes & Crafts at Stafford Creek (video story)
ABERDEEN – Valentine’s Day is celebrated on the 14th of February, but at Stafford Creek Corrections Center, the day was celebrated one day later during a bimonthly Family Fun Night.
02/15/2019 | New Freedom from Past Choices (video story)
Over 20 men in the Twin Rivers Unit at Monroe Correctional Complex had reason to celebrate in January.
02/08/2019 | Nursing Takes 'Patients'
Cheryl Strand traveled to Haiti for the first time on a 2015 mission trip. She was helping with the medical team to provide healthcare for those in need.
02/01/2019 | Memories of McNeil: New Exhibit Celebrates Island’s History
TACOMA – Mary Lamb spotted a pair of coyotes while waiting for a bus taking staff from the former McNeil Island Corrections Center (MICC) North Complex to the passenger ferry.

January

01/30/2019 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: May 2019 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) May 2019 meeting list.
01/28/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Loretta Taylor Named Education Services Administrator
TUMWATER – Loretta Taylor has been named as the new Education Services Administrator by Assistant Secretary for Reentry Danielle Armbruster within the Washington Department of Corrections, effective Monday, January 28, 2019.
01/25/2019 | Think First and Act Later (video story)
The noise of the room begins to fade as people take their seats and get out their folders to start the biweekly session of Thinking for a Change.
01/24/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Sheila Lewallen Named Victim Services Program Manager
TUMWATER – Sheila Lewallen has been named as the Victim Services Program Manager by Assistant Secretary for Community Corrections Mac Pevey.
01/22/2019 | Community Walks Together in Honor of Jayme Biendl
MONROE – Every January, hundreds of community members and volunteers gather together to support the family of Jayme Biendl, and other families like hers, in an annual memorial run.
01/18/2019 | The Real Soup-er Heroes (video story)
The Department of Corrections Emergency Operations Unit receives requests to assist during natural and man-made disasters.
01/11/2018 | Spreading Cheer through Caroling
GIG HARBOR – It’s an hour before the Washington Corrections Center for Women closes for the night.
01/10/2019 | ISRB PRESS RELEASE: April 2019 Hearings (pdf)
The Indeterminate Sentence Review Board (ISRB) April 2019 meeting list.
01/08/2019 | PRESS RELEASE: Sarah Sytsma Named Director of Correctional Industries
TUMWATER – Sarah Sytsma has been named as the director of Correctional Industries (CI) by Assistant Secretary for Reentry Danielle Armbruster within the Washington Department of Corrections, effective January 16, 2019.
01/04/2019 | Incarcerated Men Build Toys for Local Charities (video story)
ABERDEEN – Hundreds of children experiencing hardships received brand new toys for Christmas, thanks to some incarcerated men at Stafford Creek Corrections Center.

Archive

11/13/2018 | Corrections Takes Steps to Help Curb State’s Opioid Epidemic
TUMWATER – Aliza Mooney knows the pain and anguish of watching a loved one struggle with opioid addiction.
08/31/2018 | A Second Chance at Education
BELFAIR – Millions of students across America will be going back to school in the coming weeks.
08/24/2018 | Changes From Within
KING COUNTY, Wash. – When Franklyn Smith left prison in 2000, he was faced with the challenge of returning to the same neighborhood where he had committed his crime.
04/20/2018 | Waltz Around Larch Corrections Center
YACOLT – Streamers & music filled the Larch Corrections Center (LCC) gym as it was transformed into a formal dance hall for 22 incarcerated fathers and their daughters on March 17, 2018. This year marked the fourth annual Father/Daughter event and dance.
04/06/2018 | Checking Out Books in Prison
TUMWATER – National Library Week is April 8-14, 2018. The Washington State Department of Corrections has nine institutional libraries delivered through an interagency agreement with the Washington State Library, a division of the Secretary of State's Office.
02/23/2018 | Black Prisoners Caucus Youth Summit
SHELTON – The Black Prisoners Caucus (BPC) at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton hosted a Youth Summit. The panel was comprised of 11 incarcerated men who shared their stories of what led to their incarceration.
02/16/2018 | Accountability Letters Kindle Remorse, Healing
Judy Dutcher spent years in a dark place after a neighbor murdered her 13-year-old daughter in 1989. She never thought receiving a letter from the person who killed her daughter would be the key to helping her feel whole again.
02/09/2018 | Incarcerated Artists Art Auction for Hurricane Relief
TACOMA – Inmates from across the state are helping hurricane victims, one brush stroke at a time. The Department of Corrections (DOC), in partnership with Bates Technical College and Numbers2Names volunteers, is hosting an art auction Friday, February 16, 2018 to raise money for hurricane relief.
01/26/2018 | Dressing Chickens in Prison
GIG HARBOR – Human Resources Consultant Paula Andrew is the self-proclaimed “Chicken Lady” of Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW). When she saw a picture of a chicken in a sweater vest online, an idea popped into her head: Why not do something similar for the chickens at WCCW?
01/19/2018 | Remembering Jayme Biendl: Annual Memorial Run is January 28
MONROE – Detective Sgt. Barry Hatch with the Monroe Police Department never knew Jayme Biendl in life. But he’s one of several hundred community members who come together each year to remember and honor the fallen correctional officer.
01/12/2018 | Vancouver Community Corrections Officers Honored for Accomplishments in Gang Unit
VANCOUVER – Keeping the streets safe can be a daunting task, especially for a city with an approximate population of 175,000 people. Vancouver, Washington is home to an interagency gang unit that was just recognized for their outstanding work.
01/05/2018 | Building Bridges between Inmates and the Victims Community
SHELTON – Aro Williams-Walker, an inmate at the Washington Corrections Center (WCC), was the 38,000th graduate of the Bridges to Life program.
12/15/2017 | Sending Dogs to Prison for Grooming and Boarding (video story)
GIG HARBOR — Alyssa Knight uses a pair of sheers to trim the curly white fur around the snout of a one a 1-year-old Bichon Frise named Gracie Sue.
10/20/2017 | ‘Dirty Jobs’ Foundation Awards Scholarship to Cedar Creek Inmate
LITTLEROCK – John Lanell Fitzpatrick never went to high school. He got involved in the ‘gangster life’ when he was just a boy. In 2009, he was convicted of robbery, unlawful imprisonment with a firearm, and attempting to elude a police vehicle.
10/06/2017 | Reentry Team Wins Award
SEATTLE – A Department of Corrections Reentry Transition Specialist Team has earned an award for its work to help and support incarcerated individuals successfully transition back into the community.
09/29/2017 | Therapeutic Communities: 20 Years of Breaking the Cycle of Addiction
GIG HARBOR – Bridie Clevenger started using drugs when she was 9. It was the only way she knew how to mask the pain of abuse and sexual assault she endured from family members. As an adult, she stole money from people's bank accounts to pay for her addiction, which landed her in prison. She never guessed prison would save her life.
09/22/2017 | KUBI Camp Lets Children of Incarcerated Parents ‘Just Be a Kid’ (video story)
TAHUYA – Twenty-two children hiked through the woods, swam in a lake, ate sloppy joes and sat around a campfire.
07/18/2017 | One Year Later, Strength in Families Supports Incarcerated Men Becoming Better Fathers
TUMWATER – Fathers behind bars say they have better relationships with their children, thanks to a new Washington Department of Corrections program.
06/09/2017 | Volunteers Provide Fresh Clothes and A Fresh Start
GIG HARBOR – Stacks of folded blue jeans sit on shelves that stretch from wall to wall. Blouses of various colors, sizes, and textures drape from hangers. This clothing closet is like most others. Except, it's located inside a prison.
05/12/2017 | New Program Helps Incarcerated Parents Connect with Their Children
GIG HARBOR – Inmate Candida Suarez described a sibling rivalry between her 17-month-old son, Ezra, and his new sibling. When she showered Ezra's younger brother with attention, Ezra would hit him. If his brother was on the bed, Ezra would push him off.
03/17/2017 | Easy As Pi: Inmates Find Motivation Through Mathematics
MONROE – When Christopher Havens began serving a 25-year sentence on murder charges in 2011, he never thought he would find knowledge and enlightenment from behind prison walls.
01/26/2017 | Honor Guard Does 'Whatever It Takes' to Pay Tribute to Fallen Officers
When an officer dies in the line of duty, the community is shaken to its core. Family members, friends and co-workers grieve. While everyone else mourns, the honor guard steps up to ensure the officer's tribute is flawless.
12/02/2016 | Her Dogs Find Drugs
Barbara Davenport leads training sessions for dog handlers two or three times per year for Department of Corrections' officers and participants from other law enforcement agencies. Davenport estimates she's trained more than 450 dogs over the past 32 years.
10/07/2016 | The Redemption Project: Ripple Effects of Doing Good
ABERDEEN – The words coming from Ismael Bucio were surprising, considering he was secured to a chair inside the Stafford Creek Corrections Center Intensive Management Unit.
09/30/2016 | Hispanic Community Corrections Officers Are First Generation College Grads
SUNNYSIDE – The job of a community corrections officer isn’t glamorous.
08/27/2016 | Prison Gardens: Roots of Change
WALLA WALLA – Flint Pulse never thought of farming as a career while growing up in the Tri-cities area, but a two-year prison sentence has changed all that.
07/07/2016 | Special Emergency Response Teams Test Skills at McNeil Island Competition
DUPONT – Over the course of two days last week, 20 corrections officers ran obstacle courses, assembled and fired weapons at targets
06/08/2016 | Founder of Prison Dog Training Program Visits Airway Heights
AIRWAY HEIGHTS – Inmate dog handlers in the Airway Heights Corrections Center (AHCC) Pawsitive Dogs program had a rare opportunity to meet the woman who helped bring animal training programs to prisons all over the nation.
05/10/2016 | Being a DOC Nurse Requires Open Mind, Google Skills
ABERDEEN – Being a prison nurse isn't a career many people would put at the top of their wish list, but Damon Gordon thinks they should.
05/04/2016 | Teaching Social Skills to Prison Inmates
WALLA WALLA – It's the soft skills that often determine if inmates will find jobs and stay out of trouble after leaving prison.
04/20/2016 | One of DOC’s Two Female SERT Members Hopes Others Will Step Up to the Challenge
CLALLAM BAY – Jeri Boe was working as a correctional officer at the Clallam Bay Corrections Center when 38 inmates began fighting in the middle of the recreation yard.
01/27/2016 | Intelligence and Investigations Network Works to Keep DOC Facilities Safe
TUMWATER – If a fight breaks out behind prison walls, Christopher Newton tries to get to the bottom of it.
11/30/2015 | Tribal Circle Provides Connections, Peace for Native American Inmates
LITTLEROCK – Aaron Abrahamson pounded out a powerful, upbeat tempo on a leather drum painted with the image of a bald eagle and was joined by three other tribal members.
10/06/2015 | DOC Officer Arrests Drug Dealer, Confiscates $100K in Cash and Pounds of Meth
TACOMA – A state Department of Corrections’ specialist, assigned to the FBI’s South Sound Task Force, arrested a wanted drug dealer and confiscated more than $100,000 in cash and five pounds of methamphetamine at a residential duplex last week.
10/05/2015 | Knock, Knock, Knocking on a Felon's Door
MASON COUNTY – It's early in the morning when Kathy Jonas walks up to a small, battered Airstream trailer surrounded by trash and makeshift storage sheds covered with tarps.
09/21/2015 | Former Inmates Share Success Stories at Correctional Industries Conference
SPOKANE – Tristian Frye remembers feeling terrified about her chances of finding a job after spending 12 years in prison for second-degree murder.
08/28/2015 | Inmate Overcomes Drugs, Crime, To Become Professional Firefighter
DOC inmates gain firefighting experience in prison that helps them find jobs after release. More than 200 inmates now on the fire lines in Washington.
06/24/2015 | DOC’s Community Response Unit Prevents Crime Before It Happens
SEATTLE — There’s something off about the man with buzz cut hair. Chad Winfrey senses it when he walks into Cascade Park.
06/19/2015 | Children of Incarcerated Parents Attend First Summer Camp Hosted by DOC
MONROE – Twenty-two children arrived at a remote wooded camp this week with a secret they’re often afraid to tell others.
05/29/2015 | Inmates Land High-Paying Jobs at Wastewater Treatment Plants
MONROE – Keone Padilla’s path to redemption lies through sewage. Each day, he leaves his prison cell and heads down to the Monroe Correctional Complex’s wastewater lagoon.
05/12/2015 | The Things Inmates Flush Down Toilets: Shoes, Pants, Sheets and Lots of Water
MONROE - Prison inmates use their toilets for lots of things they’re not intended, like drink coolers, washing machines and trash cans.
04/09/2015 | Officer Awarded Purple Heart for Injuries Sustained While Arresting Violent Suspect
BREMERTON — Community Corrections Specialist Nick Weber figured there might be trouble when he rounded a corner at Forest Ridge Park and spotted a violent suspect wanted for stealing firearms sitting in a Chevy Blazer with his girlfriend.