Podcast | The effort to reform Washington prison culture

Reporter Joseph O’Sullivan visited one of the state penitentiaries that is trying to change the relationship between guards and prisoners.

Four people sitting at a table in a concrete room

Shawn Crump, 31, plays cards with correctional officers at the Stafford Creek Corrections Center. Officers hope Norway’s person-centered approach and emphasis on humane treatment will improve the lives of the staff and the incarcerated. (Amanda Snyder/Crosscut)

A new effort being piloted in Washington state prisons seeks to improve culture behind bars. The program, called Amend, is modeled on the prison system in Norway, where a stated goal of incarceration is to create better neighbors.

The Washington State Department of Corrections hopes Amend can help improve interactions among corrections officers and inmates and create better outcomes when the incarcerated are released. 

Listen to Crosscut Reports on Apple PodcastsSpotifyAmazon or wherever you get your podcasts.

For this episode of the Crosscut Reports podcast, host Sara Bernard speaks with Crosscut staff reporter Joseph O'Sullivan about his recent visit to one of the state’s three pilot sites, the Stafford Creek Corrections Center, to learn more about the program. 

O’Sullivan shares his experience inside the prison, where he spoke with guards and an incarcerated individual about the program, which could grow if the state legislature approves a request from Gov. Inslee to expand the program.

Read our full report on Washington's Amend program here

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