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External Link Policy

The Department of Corrections recognizes it is necessary to include links to websites outside agency control ("external websites"). The purpose of this policy is to clearly state that the agency's website is not a public forum for communication and debate. Links to external websites from the are established and retained at the sole discretion of the Department of Corrections.

This policy also provides criteria and guidelines on when links to external websites are inappropriate.

Website Purpose

The purpose of the Department of Corrections website is to promote public service to citizens as efficiently and cost effectively as possible, and in a manner of presentation befitting government, by:

  • Expanding business and citizen access to government services and government information;
  • Offering an easy and convenient process to conduct online interactions with State government;
  • Accelerating the delivery of quality online government services;
  • Improving the level of customer service from State government; and
  • Extending online government services to all citizens in Washington State.


This policy applies only to webpages and web services operated by the Department of Corrections. Links to the following types of webpages may be included on the agency website:

  1. Other Governmental Units & Educational Institutions – The agency may provide links to other federal, state, and local governmental units and educational institutions that provide services and information that website users may find of interest.
  2. Private Organizations – The agency may provide links to private organizations if these organizations offer services that complement the agency's purpose, information, and if the links meet the acceptance criteria stated in this policy.
External Website Disclaimer

The agency may provide links to websites that are not controlled, maintained, or regulated by the Department of Corrections, and as such the agency is not responsible for the content of those websites.

Use of information obtained from external websites is voluntary. Any information obtained from an external website is not guaranteed by the Department of Corrections and the user should review the accuracy of any information before relying upon it. Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, or otherwise does not represent endorsement or recommendation by the Department of Corrections.

External Website Link Acceptance Criteria

The agency will review every link and decide whether it is appropriate and relevant using the following acceptance criteria:

  1. The external website corresponds with the purpose of the Department of Corrections.
  2. The external website is appropriate with respect to the purpose of the Department of Corrections.
    • Links to state and federal government websites are a principle means of meeting our purpose and are generally accepted as appropriate.
    • Links to social networking sites may be accepted as appropriate when associated with state and federal agencies.
  3. An inappropriate website may include, but is not limited to:
    • A commercial website which charges a fee for products or services online;
    • Content that infringes on any trademark, copyright, or patent rights of another;
    • Claims or representations in violation of advertising or consumer protection and privacy protection laws;
    • Exhibits hate, bias, discrimination, pornography, libelous or otherwise defamatory content;
    • Advocates or promotes the use of alcohol, tobacco, or illegal drugs;
    • Lobbies, advocates, or advances the policies and priorities of a particular industry, organization or enterprise. This includes sites of non-profit organizations;
    • Belongs to or supports a political affiliation, and/or furthers the agenda of a political organization or candidate running for office;
    • Promotes or makes available adult or sexually oriented entertainment or materials;
    • Promotes, opposes, or makes available weapons or gambling;
    • Content that a reasonable citizen may not consider to maintain the dignity and decorum appropriate for a government agency.

The Department of Corrections, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to deny links if it determines that a website contains misleading or unsubstantiated claims, conflicts with the purpose of the agency, or does not meet one or more of the criteria set forth in this policy.

See Contact Information to suggest a link for the website.

Removal of Links to External Websites

The Department of Corrections reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to remove links to external websites that otherwise meet its guidelines. Links from the agency website will be reviewed regularly and may be removed for any of the following reasons:

  • The link no longer points to the original information or resource to which it was intended to point;
  • The external website contains inaccurate or misleading information or has changed such that it is no longer in compliance with the acceptance criteria;
  • Access to the information has become difficult due to non-standard formatting, lengthy download times, or intrusive advertising;
  • The website is permanently unreachable or remains unavailable for a lengthy period.

Withdrawal of content on these bases will be permitted whether or not the Department of Corrections is legally obligated to act upon any information of which it is aware.

See Contact Information to make link removal suggestions.

Linking to Department Pages & Services

Advance permission to link to the Department of Corrections' website is not necessary. However, be aware the website sub pages may change at any time without notice. Anyone linking to sub pages should continuously verify links.

Anyone linking to the Department of Corrections' website shall not display agency webpages within frames, present agency content as its own, or otherwise misrepresent the agency's content. Certain information on the website may be trademarked, service-marked, or otherwise protected as intellectual property. Protected intellectual property must be used in accordance with state and federal laws and must reflect the proper ownership of the intellectual property.

Contact Information

Contact the DOC Webmaster to suggest a link for the website, suggest a link removal, or to offer comments about the information presented in this Link Policy.