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PRESS RELEASE: Corrections launches Rapid Staff Hiring to fill immediate needs for correctional officers

Released March 30, 2020

Contact Janelle Guthrie, (360) 764-9791

DOC Communications

TUMWATER – With response to COVID-19 expected to affect the Department of Corrections’ staffing levels over the coming months, the department is implementing an expedited hiring and training process for ‘Limited Scope Correctional Officer 1 (CO1)’ positions.

Today Corrections launched Rapid Staff Hiring-- statewide recruitment for all facilities. Using an expedited process, the department expects to recruit, screen, interview, test and train new limited-scope CO1s in a 32-day period.

“Corrections’ goal is to maintain public safety during the COVID-19 public health crisis,” said Secretary Steven Sinclair. “As we work to protect our employees and those in our care from exposure to COVID-19, ensuring adequate staffing is critical. These vital public service jobs provide a great opportunity for individuals seeking a career in Corrections, where we work to improve public safety by positively changing lives every day.”

Expedited New Employee Orientation (NEO)/Correctional Worker Core (CWC) Academy

  • Designed to provide basic correctional training to support emergency, short-term hiring and assignment of essential positions.
  • Incorporates versions of essential courses from existing NEO and CWC.
  • New temporary employees will receive critical knowledge and skill learning to support efficient and safe operation of facilities.
  • Academies will be limited to 20 new employees to maintain an effective learning environment and proper social distancing.

Assignment and Duty Restrictions

Until the new CO1s receive the full Correctional Worker academy and post-academy training, the following restrictions will be placed on their assignments/work duties:

  • Restrained escorts at a facility will be done with a Correctional Officer 2 and/or supervisor. The Correctional Officer 2 will apply the restraints prior to escort.
  • Pre-planned use of force will not include CO1s.
  • CO1s will not work in Intensive Management Units, Segregation Units, Secured Housing Units, Special Needs Units, Treatment Evaluation Centers, Closed Observation Areas, or other units/assignments, which require enhanced security measures.
  • CO1s will not work as hospital watch officers or transport officers.
  • CO1s will not work a single-post assignment.

In the coming days or weeks, this expedited hiring process may extend to additional essential positions, including food service and health care professionals.

Learn more about working as a Correctional Officer at the Washington State Department of Corrections here.

The first step to becoming a Correctional Officer is to apply online! Search for current opportunities at jobs.doc.wa.gov with the Job Title of "Correctional Officer 1, Limited Scope".