In a letter dated December 5, 2019, WA DOC Deputy Prisons Director Scott Russell stated the following:
“…the Washington State DOC does not use ‘solitary confinement’ or ‘isolation’ in any form. As you noted, and thank you for doing so, the department is currently partnered with the Vera Institute for a project to reform the use of ‘Restrictive Housing’ in the Washington DOC system. This project is sure to positively change some of the current practices that Washington DOC uses administrative segregation [sic] and we look forward to the recommendations that come from that partnership.”
Washington Corrections Watch challenges this statement here.
Correctional Industries’ involvement in WA DOC prisoner mainline meal production began in the mid-90s and has expanded to full dominance in the years since. CI has become so entrenched in the Washington State prison food system—too big to fail, if you will—that many weary stakeholders, advocates, and oversight entities feel it would be impossible to remove CI as a vendor. However, there is legislative precedent for rescinding CI’s monopoly on a given product or operation. Here’s an example from 2012.
On this Christmas Day we at Washington Corrections Watch would like to give the gift of vigilant civic engagement. Let not the taxpayers and lawmakers of Washington State blindly defer to the expertise of state correctional officials. Where deference to correctional expertise is warranted, let us never be too complacent to verify that our trust is well-placed.
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