Washington Department of Corrections

Justin Steyer / KPLU

 

Two Washington prison inmates have committed suicide in recent weeks at the state’s main intake facility in Shelton.

The first was in October. The most recent was just before Thanksgiving.

VANCOUVER, Wash. — The Larch Corrections Center near Yacolt is testing how pet cats may soften the behavior of hardened criminals.

Two cats were given to inmates in two cells at the minimum-security prison.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr

VANCOUVER, Wash. — It can be hard to find a job these days – especially with a felony conviction on your record.

That's the position offenders in the Clark County work release program have found themselves in. The inmates, who are serving the last few months of their sentence, are tasked with finding work to help them build up savings and gain work experience to help them reenter society.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington prison officials are following California's lead. This month they asked social media giant Facebook to agree to disable active inmate accounts.

The case of the "Bad Hair Bandit" raises questions some prison experts say haven't been fully addressed in the correctional system. Police believe a woman from north Idaho is the wigged robber who stole money from banks in Tacoma, Spokane, Lake Oswego and other cities on the West Coast.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Lapses in training and “serious” safety violations may have contributed to the murder of a Washington correctional officer earlier this year. Those are the findings of a six month investigation by Washington’s workplace safety watchdog.

The agency issued citations and fines Wednesday against the Department of Corrections.

AP

The population of Washington state prison inmates has become whiter, older and more violent in the past decade. That's according to an Associated Press review of Department of Corrections records.


Governor Chris Gregoire has ordered flags to fly at half-staff in memory of a slain prison correctional officer. Gregoire has also initiated an outside review of the murder of Officer Jayme Biendl over the weekend.

Wash. DOC

His “worst nightmare.” That's how Washington’s Secretary of Corrections is describing the murder this weekend of a female correctional officer. Prison officials say 34-year-old Jayme Biendl was strangled to death.

Photo courtesy / WA DOC

When the state of Washington gets sued, it’s the multi-million dollar payouts that make the headlines.

However, every year taxpayers are on the hook for thousands of dollars more in smaller property damage claims: Inmate TV sets, drowned cell phones, rock-chipped windows … even a cheesecake.

AP

Unionized prison employees will picket outside the Monroe prison this morning. They’re protesting budget cuts. The union has also filed a formal lawsuit.