“It is my personal belief that
the more right-thinking,
pro-social people in our environment,
the more humane the environment will be
and the more offenders will change.”
(Joseph D. Lehman, Secretary, Washington State DOC)
The Profile of Most Offenders
- Most inmates have problems with drugs, but only half get drug treatment in Washington State prisons.
- Only 18% have a high school diploma. Nearly ¾ of incoming male prisoners test below a 9th grade education level. Inmates who further their education are better equipped to get out of the cycle of poverty and crime. Education gives people a chance to improve their lives, which in turn helps the community.
- Many have poor work experience and job skills.
- More than half of all prison and jail inmates have a mental health problem (such as depression, mania and psychotic disorders), which also raises jail and prison pharmacy costs.
- More than 75% of jail inmates with a mental health problem are also abusing drugs. There is a lack of treatment facilities for mental health and drug abuse.
- There is a 500-man waiting list for a 14-month sex offender treatment program at the correctional facility in Monroe, Washington.
- Unless these problems are addressed, offenders have a very difficult time not returning to a life of crime.