Cages Are All the Rage: Doubling Down on Centuries of Failure

Joey Pedersen The Greek gods would have been impressed with the sadism of American prison officials. I do not say this lightly, and neither should you accept the claim at face value, for the Greek deities were accomplished punishers. Ixion, after all, was chained to a wheel merely for having relations with a cloud (it’sContinue reading “Cages Are All the Rage: Doubling Down on Centuries of Failure”

Punishing Relations – How WA DOC’s hidden costs and collateral damage imprison families

Washington Corrections Watch has released its first comprehensive report on issues in the Washington Department of Corrections: Punishing Relations – How WA DOC’s hidden costs and collateral damage imprison families. The devastating effect of decades of mass incarceration on Washington state communities has become increasingly apparent. The financial and emotional burdens of incarceration are primarilyContinue reading “Punishing Relations – How WA DOC’s hidden costs and collateral damage imprison families”

Is a One-Size-Fits-All COVID-19 Prevention Protocol Working in Correctional Settings?

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic mainstream media coverage of how the virus affects prison populations has focused primarily on the rapid spread of the virus and any deaths that have resulted, both among prisoners and staff. There has been less coverage of how individual prisoners and staff members feel about the public healthContinue reading “Is a One-Size-Fits-All COVID-19 Prevention Protocol Working in Correctional Settings?”

WA DOC Prison Labor Model Amplifies COVID-19 Vectors & Outbreaks

On December 15, 2020, a Washington State Penitentiary (WSP) associate superintendent told families of WSP prisoners during a COVID-19 Local Family Council informational Microsoft Teams meeting that WSP leadership has not been authorized by the WA DOC headquarters Unified Command to make exceptions during the pandemic to policies that punish prisoners with major infractions ifContinue reading “WA DOC Prison Labor Model Amplifies COVID-19 Vectors & Outbreaks”

Another Documented Case of Retaliation in WA DOC

The Office of Corrections Ombuds recently found and reported on evidence of retaliation at WA DOC’s Reynolds Work Release site. WA DOC has provided a response here, in which it states that “‘Retaliation’ is not in alignment with the Department’s values. The Department is incorporating the definition of the term ‘retaliation’ as well as examplesContinue reading “Another Documented Case of Retaliation in WA DOC”

WA DOC COVID-19 Response

For those wanting updates on DOC’s Corona virus response, here is DOC’s official (and evidently regularly updated) response info, as well as the Office of Corrections Ombuds COVID-19 resource page, which contains notes from a group phone meeting held with concerned families of prisoners on March 13, 2020. This WA Corrections Watch post was lastContinue reading “WA DOC COVID-19 Response”

Meeting With a State Legislator on Lobby Day? Quiz Them on WA DOC Leadership Expertise

Lobby Day is coming up on MLK Jr. Day and many constituents who would like to see reforms in WA DOC will be meeting with their legislators. It helps to have some key talking points planned out to make the best use of the brief appointments one might make with a Washington State senator orContinue reading “Meeting With a State Legislator on Lobby Day? Quiz Them on WA DOC Leadership Expertise”

When (and Why) Did WA DOC Prisoners Lose the Right to Wear Personal Clothing?

As documented in Greenhalgh v. Dep’t of Corr. (2014), WA DOC eliminated the right of prisoners to wear personal clothing in 2009. (See also DOC 440.000 and these early revisions of WA DOC 440.050 State-Issued Clothing/Linen.) As this Court of Appeals decisions states: “In January 2009, DOC informed its inmates that it amended DOC 440.000 to eliminate inmate possessionContinue reading “When (and Why) Did WA DOC Prisoners Lose the Right to Wear Personal Clothing?”

The Report Cards WA DOC Gives Itself

How would those who live, visit, and work at WA DOC prisons rate those facilities? And how would that compare to WA DOC headquarters report card ratings? Try your hand at it. Think of a WA DOC facility. Give it a grade in all of the following areas: (1) operations review (IT, security, disciplinary processes,Continue reading “The Report Cards WA DOC Gives Itself”