The Community Corrections Division of the Department of Corrections supervises an active caseload of approximately 18,000 offenders in communities and work release facilities across Washington. The Division’s employees promote reintegration and public safety by:
- Providing guidance, support and program opportunities for all offenders returning to the community.
- Holding offenders accountable to their imposed conditions, as they resume life within the community.
- Collaborating and supporting community resources and parties with a vested interest in successful offender transition into the community.
Reengineering of Community Corrections
On June 1, 2012 a new law will take effect that will fundamentally change community corrections in Washington. The law is designed to increase offender compliance and connect offenders with evidence-based programs that will reduce the likelihood they will commit new crimes once their supervision ends.
Supervising Offenders in the Community
The Community Corrections Division supervises offenders who have either been confined in a county jail or prison (for felony convictions of more than a year), or were sentenced to direct supervision in the community. Most offenders have conditions of supervision. These conditions are guided by public-safety considerations and engage each offender in programs to reduce their likelihood of re-offense. Offenders report to Community Corrections Officers and, depending upon the offender’s history or crime, may be prohibited from having contact with minors or victims. They may also be required to submit to urinalysis testing and to participate in substance abuse treatment programs, offender change programs, and family reunification programs as appropriate. A range of sanctions may be imposed for non-compliance, up to and including jail time.
DOC operates Community Justice Centers where services and core programming are offered to offenders. Core programming includes employment assistance, continued education, chemical dependency treatment classes, counseling and other services proven to reduce the likelihood of re-offense. The goal is to reduce recidivism by strengthening individual support networks through a continuum of programming offered from prison into the community.
The Community Corrections Division cooperatively manages 15 work release facilities. Work release is a form of partial confinement in which offenders are permitted to live in residential facilities. During this time the offenders are expected to secure employment and be assisted in establishing positive support networks with family, friends, and the community.