Department of Corrections

Justin Steyer / KPLU

Washington’s prison system has announced a major policy change when it comes to inmates who harm themselves. The Department of Corrections said Thursday that it will no longer sanction inmates for cutting or other acts of self-injury.

State Prison Inmates Learning Aerospace Work

Sep 21, 2013

Forget license plates. Some inmates at the Airway Heights Corrections Center are training for jobs in the state's huge aerospace industry.

About a dozen inmates are enrolled in a program that will make them certified aerospace composite technicians. Their goal is a post-prison chance to land jobs at companies like Boeing and its suppliers.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It’s been nearly two years since Washington corrections officer Jayme Biendl was murdered on the job. But the union that represents prison guards says safety is still a major concern. The Teamsters plan to rally Thursday at the Capitol to demand safer work conditions. They also want the right to call in an arbitrator to resolve bargaining disputes.

Union representative Michelle Woodrow says since August seven officers have been assaulted at three different Washington prisons.

The Washington Department of Social and Health Services is reviewing how a patient was able to escape from
Western State Hospital at Lakewood.

Jonathan D. Wilson remained in Pierce County Jail over the weekend, and Department of Corrections spokesman Chad Lewis says officials are deciding Monday where he should be transferred. 

The News Tribune's Stacia Glenn reports Wilson may be headed to Mason County.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Making headlines around the Northwest this morning:

  • Accused Monroe Killer Was Known Threat
  • Northwest Gas Prices Spike
  • Union Claims Seattle School Board Knew About Troubles
  • Pac 10 Tourney Pits UW vs. WSU
     

Scherf Was Long Considered Risk to Prison Staff

Byron Scherf, who confessed to murdering Monroe prison guard Jaime Biendl, was known to corrections officials as a possible threat to staff for years, according to The Herald of Everett:

"Staff are concerned that his next victim could be a staff person," one corrections worker wrote June 1, 2001, in the running log state prison officials have kept on Scherf's behavior since the mid-1990s. 

Other observations made about the same time point out that Scherf:

McNeil Island
Austin Jenkins / KPLU

Washington's oldest prison will close by April 1st, a casualty of the state's current budget crisis. McNeil Island Corrections Center's 500 inmates will be moved to other facilities. Some of the 245 employees will be reassigned, while others stand to lose their jobs.