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Herald Article Looks at DOC Performance Audit

An article in today's Everett Herald looks at staff safety in our state's prisons as it relates to the recent DOC performance audit.

Michelle Woodrow, your Local 117 President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement is quoted in piece.

Woodrow talked to the Herald after her testimony at the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) hearing last Wednesday in Olympia.

Despite reforms, Washington prison workers still feel unsafe

OLYMPIA — The murder of a Monroe corrections officer in 2011 incited Washington to develop and deploy the nation's most comprehensive approach to improving the safety of prison staff.

But even with added security cameras, upgraded equipment and revised practices since Jayme Biendl's death, more than half of those working inside Washington's 12 prisons do not actually feel safer, according to findings in a performance audit presented to state lawmakers Wednesday.

And the mood is most dour at the Monroe Correctional Complex where only a third reported feeling safer now and 85 percent don't think it will be safer in the near future.

“I think the survey was spot-on with what we're hearing,” said Michelle Woodrow, president and director of corrections and law enforcement for Teamsters Local 117 which represents correctional officers. “Our members are echoing what the auditors said.”

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