Tag Archives: Work Release Centers

Investigation of Work Release Centers Spurs Changes; Advocates Proceed with Caution

by Paul Kiefer

(This article originally appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.) 


Last Friday, Washington’s Office of Corrections Ombuds (OCO) released the final recommendations from a nearly two-year-long review of the State’s work release program that found an alarming pattern of retaliation and arbitrary discipline by contract staff at work release centers across the state.

Work release centers are housing facilities for people in DOC custody; residents stay for less than a year, transitioning back into normal life by working civilian jobs, visiting family members, and attending counseling sessions.

Since the State legislature created the OCO as the oversight agency for the State Department of Corrections (DOC) in 2018, the office has repeatedly investigated allegations about work release staffers responding to criticism or complaints by returning residents to prison for minor rule violations.

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