Department of Corrections

Life Behind Bars
4:45 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Washington Prisons Will No Longer Punish Inmates For ‘Self-Harm’

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.

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life behind bars
11:48 am
Sat September 21, 2013

State Prison Inmates Learning Aerospace Work

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.

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Other News
4:48 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Washington correctional officers to protest following assaults

Washington Department of Corrections

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 5:24 pm

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.

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Law and Justice
2:41 pm
Mon March 7, 2011

State investigates patient's escape from Western State Hospital

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.

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News Roundup
8:15 am
Mon March 7, 2011

Monday morning's headlines

Jennifer Mendelson begins to fill her car's gas tank at a station near downtown Seattle.
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:

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State Budget Crisis
3:55 pm
Fri November 19, 2010

Budget crisis means closure for McNeil Island prison

McNeil Island prison Is Slated For Closure By April 1st Due To Washington’s Budget Crisis.
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.

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