Public records related to WA DOC may be requested from the WA DOC Public Records Unit and from the public records offices of other government entities that collaborate or interact with WA DOC at the local, state, and federal jurisdictions. Below are links to some of these offices, as well as guidance for wording public records requests.
Tips and Guidelines for Requesting Corrections Records
- Request records ethically. Avoid making requests with the goal of bullying, harming, or humiliating individual prisoners, staff members, coworkers, visitors, or volunteers. Respect the privacy and well-being of individuals.
- Make it clear that you are requesting existing records and are not asking the records department to create or extrapolate records. Public records officers can only provide existing records.
- Provide a clear time frame for when the desired records were created.
- State the prison facility for which you are seeking records.
- If known, provide the formal names of the types of records you are requesting. (See our glossary of DOC jargon.) If unknown, provide the records staff with details that will help them determine what type of records you are seeking. Sometimes providing a relevant DOC policy number or an example of the type of record you are requesting can be helpful. If you are seeking records mentioned in a news story, provide the records staff with a link to the story to help them determine what sort of records you are seeking.
- Be polite and concise in your wording. Records staff have heavy workloads and are our greatest helpers in making opaque walls transparent. If the records that staff return are not what you had hoped for, communicate in a constructive manner to clarify or hone the focus of your initial request.
- Example records request wordings: I am writing to request records of all IMU incident reports created by staff at Washington Corrections Center for Women between January 1, 2010 and October 31, 2010.
Public Records Offices
- WA DOC Public Records Unit
- Office of the Washington State Governor
- Office of Corrections Ombuds
- Washington Department of Enterprise Services
- Washington Department of Health
- For a list of additional Washington State agencies that may have interacted with WA DOC, please visit here
- For county jail public records requests, please visit individual county government websites