OUR MISSION: Prison Voice Washington exists to help redesign and update Washington’s broken prison system by introducing common sense, humanity, and the latest scientific research into policy discussions. Our goal is to improve both the safety of our communities and the lives of prisoners by expanding opportunities for rehabilitation. We also seek to update our laws and policies to reflect what works, based on the last 30 years of social science research.
Our legislative agenda for 2017 includes
- creating a Corrections Ombudman’s Office to provide independent oversight of the Department of Corrections,
- expanding educational opportunity within prisons, including vocational training and higher education
- revisiting sentencing guidelines
- reducing the impact of legal financial obligations,
- recreating a system of sentence review/parole
- bringing Washington prisons into compliance with the governor’s executive order requiring access to healthy food in all state agencies and organizations
WE ARE people who have experienced the prison system first hand, either as as directors of prison programs, prison teachers, and volunteers, or as former prisoners and their families. As a result of what we have seen, we are compelled to give voice to our belief that Washington’s criminal justice system and the Department of Corrections are failing our communities. Prison Voice Washington works to provide answers to the many problems and sticking points in this outdated system.
WE BELIEVE that people can and do change. We believe that incarcerated people deserve the opportunity to work and learn meaningful skills. We believe that education and hope for a better life are fundamental drivers of successful outcomes for prisoners and the communities they will be released into one day.