OLYMPIA – The Department of Corrections today announced initial operational changes following the death of a correctional officer at Monroe Correctional Complex.
The agency will pursue the following changes immediately:
Prisons will begin counting staff members whenever an offender cannot be accounted for.
Response and Movement Officers will begin monitoring single-officer posts on a periodic basis.
Prisons will conduct drills on the use of silent alarms that are on all hand-held radios.
The agency will no longer have one-day modified lockdowns at all eight major prisons. The agency began the pre-planned lockdowns in November so that additional staff members would have temporary layoffs.
“We will take every action we can to make prisons safer for our staff,” Secretary Eldon Vail said. “These are only the initial actions that we will pursue immediately. We will make additional changes once we conduct a thorough review of all our policies and procedures.”
At 1:35 p.m. Sunday all 13 prisons will have a moment of silence for Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl. Sunday would have been her 35th birthday.