Citizen Oversight of the Washington State Department of Corrections

Through rigorous public records research, the Washington Corrections Watch Project—launched in December 2019—aims to illuminate the behind-the-walls practices of the Washington Department of Corrections for the taxpayers, employees, officials, journalists, researchers, and community organizations of Washington State. We hope also to hold up a mirror for the Washington Department of Corrections, that it may see itself as prisoners, department employees, and visitors to prison facilities experience it. In this way, we offer the department the opportunity to voluntarily strive for the maximum fulfillment of its public mandate and the alignment of its on-site operations with its own mission statement, its 2019–2023 Strategic Plan, its duties to its staff, and best correctional practices. This website will necessarily focus on the areas in which improvement is needed—the department presents its successes through its Newsroom. Visitors to our website will notice that with the exception of department Executive Strategy Team members, Prisons Division deputy directors, high-ranking Health Services staff, and individuals named in public court cases or news stories, we elide the names of individual WA DOC staff members in our documentation. Our focus is systemic improvement, not the singling out of individual staff members. We believe that goals of public safety, staff safety, reentry success, and recidivism reduction are maximized when the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of all stakeholders is valued. This project is our civic contribution to furthering these goals.

The Washington Corrections Watch Project is an ongoing work in progress. Content will be added gradually and will be made more substantial through the public records contributions and/or anecdotal insights of any members of the public who wish to participate. Visit often…we are nerds who work like Santa’s elves, day and night, on our research…

Also, check out our first report: Punishing Relations – How WA DOC’s hidden costs and collateral damage imprison families.