Washington Department of Corrections

Gov. Jay Inslee announced Monday that another former Washington Department of Corrections official has resigned over the accidental early release of nearly 3,000 prison inmates. Four other employees have been disciplined.

A Washington state correctional officer is recovering at home after a vicious assault. The attack came almost five years to the day after another prison guard was murdered. This latest incident is renewing questions about staffing levels inside Washington’s prisons.

Head Of Washington State Prisons Resigns

Feb 6, 2016

Washington Secretary of Corrections Dan Pacholke has resigned his position after less than four months in the job. His unexpected announcement Saturday came just one day after the Republican-led Washington Senate voted not to confirm Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson resulting in her immediate departure from that agency.

The Washington Department of Corrections has finished re-calculating the sentences of 1,500 inmates who were potentially released early since 2011. Of those, more than 100 must return to prison to finish their sentences.

Corrections Secretary Dan Pacholke faced questions from state lawmakers Monday as the 2016 legislative session convened. The head of Washington’s prison system called the accidental early release of more than 3,000 inmates the “largest single error” in his agency’s history.

As many as 3,200 Washington inmates were released early because of a computer glitch that went unfixed for 13 years.

As Washington’s prison population swells, there are renewed calls for a state prisons ombudsman. Legislation to create the position was filed Wednesday in advance of the January legislative session.

Washington prison inmates who suffer from “serious and painful medical conditions” are often denied adequate healthcare. That’s the allegation contained in a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Seattle this week.

Tom Banse / Northwest News Network

The work of rearing threatened plants and animals for restoration to the wild takes time and patience and it is labor intensive. In Oregon and Washington, a growing population doing that work is inmates.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – An ethics hearing is underway for a former top Washington prison official. In opening statements Wednesday, the state accused Belinda Stewart of misusing state resources. Her attorney calls it a “political prosecution.”

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