Washington State University Tri-Cities will host several presentations on potential solutions for the school-to-prison pipeline, as well as barriers for individuals’ successful re-entry into society from prison, as part of its latest “Community Classroom” series that begins this month.

Presenters will provide perspectives and strategies for how communities can proactively change statistics and pathways for successful rehabilitation. Attendees will be invited to explore the current state of affairs in the regional Tri-Cities area and investigate opportunities for stronger partnerships for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated members locally

Join us in learning from esteemed friends of the university including social service workers, educators, elected officials, prison leadership and WSU alumni as we go back to school to be better neighbors, leaders, and citizens and invest in developing a more inclusive Tri-Cities. 

The Community Classroom events are presented in partnership by the WSU Tri-Cities Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and the WSU Tri-Cities MOSAIC Center for Student Inclusion.

An Inside Look at Washington State Prison Rehabilitative Programs and the Role of Community Advocacy in Program Success 

April 21 | 4 p.m.
OPEN TO STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY & TRI-CITIES COMMUNITY

Join this panel discussion on the affordances of rehabilitative programs for incarcerated people. Each panelist will present on programs they oversaw or currently work with, as well as the role of the community in advocating for and providing resources and opportunities within local and state facilities.

Join this panel discussion on the affordances of rehabilitative programs for incarcerated people. Each panelist will present on programs they oversaw or currently work with, as well as the role of the community in advocating for and providing resources and opportunities within local and state facilities.
Speakers:
Stephan Sinclair, Secretary of the Washington State Department of Corrections
Robert Jackson, Associate Superintendent of the Washington State Penitentiary
Carol Hinds, Family Advocate
Loretta Taylor, Educational Services Administrator

SPEAKERS

steve sinclaire-comm classroom_profile

Secretary Stephen SinclairSecretary of the Washington State Department of Corrections 

Bio

Stephen Sinclair was appointed Secretary of the Washington State Department of Corrections by Governor Jay Inslee on April 25, 2017. After serving in the U.S. Army, Sinclair began his more than 30-year career at the Washington State Department of Corrections as a correctional officer and gained progressively greater responsibilities as an investigator, sergeant, associate superintendent, superintendent, and assistant secretary.  

Sinclair is co-director of the Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP), which is a unique partnership with the Evergreen State College. SPP brings science and nature to prisons, it educates and employs incarcerated individuals in a multitude of skills all contributing to science and our environment.  

As superintendent of the Washington State Penitentiary, Sinclair created and pioneered the Sustainable Practices Lab, which employs incarcerated individuals in jobs that reduce the cost of facility operations, provides meaningful vocational work and skills training while reducing idleness, and allows them the opportunity to give back to the community. The lab employs more than 120 people and is a national model of innovation that reduces recidivism.  

Some of Sinclair’s proudest accomplishments include implementation of an outcome-based management system and refreshing the agency’s mission and values to integrate equitable treatment of all employees, embrace diversity and foster an environment of inclusion and respect. Shifting the agency values to a more human centered approach will enhance the agency’s ability to deliver reentry services to improve public safety by positively changing lives. 

Sinclair successfully introduced and helped pass Agency Request Legislation to reform Washington Corrections, of which examples include: 

  • Graduated Reentry – which allows qualifying individuals to serve up to a year in a community-based Work Release program followed by up to 6 months on electronic home monitoring with intensive community supervision. This has reduced the prison population and created a new pathway for successful reentry.  
  • In 2020, he led the effort to further reform the system, by introducing legislation that reduced community supervision to better align with the research indicating extended periods of supervision does not reduce recidivism.  
  • In the coming year, Sinclair will lead an effort to introduce legislation to address the racial disparity that exist within the criminal justice system. 

Sinclair has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington. He is a member of the American Correctional Association, Correctional Leaders Association and a Commissioner of the Washington State Criminal Sentencing Taskforce, Sentencing Guidelines Commission and Criminal Justice Training Commission. Sinclair is a 2009 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Leadership in Management.

robert jackson-comm classroom_profile

Robert JacksonAssociate Superintendent of the Washington State Penitentiary 

Bio

Robert Jackson began his career with the Washington State Penitentiary (WSP) in the summer of 1991 as an Intern with the mental health program. In 1993, he was hired as a correctional mental health counselor I, where he worked his way up to the role of first-level supervisor of the in-patient mental health unit in October 2001. 

In 2003, Jackson was promoted to corrections specialist 3, tracking security threat group (gang) activity at WSP. At various times from 2003-2007, he served as acting unit manager for all three close custody living units, as well as segregation at WSP. In 2007, his position was transitioned into an emergency management specialist where he oversaw the facility’s emergency management processes and procedures under the direction of the facility’s emergency management coordinator.

Jackson transferred to the WSP intelligence and investigations unit as the chief investigator in 2007, before being promoted to correctional program manager for the East Complex in 2013. The minimum-unit complex can house up to 815 incarcerated individuals. He also supervised the WSP property, mailroom, visiting, and community partnership programs.

In November of 2015, Jackson was promoted to his current position as associate superintendent. His zones of control include the four close custody living units, two medium custody living units, roster office, training department, law libraries and the armory. He also serves as the emergency management coordinator for the facility. 

Jackson received an associate of arts degree from Walla Walla Community College in 1991 before graduating from Washington State University with a bachelor’s of science degree in psychology in 1996. He is a past member of the department’s incident management team, graduate of the Prison Fellowship Warden’s Exchange Program and, in 2018, became a Certified Diversity Executive through the Institute for Diversity Certification.  

caron hinds-comm classroom_profile

 Carol Hinds, Family Advocate 

Bio

Married 45 years and living in Los Angeles, Carol Hinds retired from a 40-year career in healthcare. She is the parent of an inmate who is serving a 25 years-to-life sentence, which he began in 2000 at the age of 18. Hinds has served more than 18 years on two inmate family councils since her son became incarcerated. She is also a member of the Statewide Inmate Family Council at the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation headquarters in downtown Sacramento. In addition to advocating for families as a member of these councils, she became an advocate and speaker for the Arts in Corrections program, sharing personal stories that reflect the positive and healing effects that art, music and creative writing have had on her son and others in prison. The Arts in Corrections program has saved many lives. Advocating for the program has become a lifeline and a pathway of opportunity for her to be involved in the prison process in a positive way.

Loretta Taylor

Loretta Taylor, Educational Services Administrator

Bio

Loretta Taylor is the Educational Services Administrator for the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC) Headquarters.  She began her career with DOC in 1993 working in records, classification and housing unit management.  In 2000, Taylor began teaching GED and life skills courses in prison.  Taylor worked as a Corrections Education Dean at three adult male prisons for 18 years.   Taylor has experience with program implementation including startup of several workforce training programs, associate degrees, and managed public and private grants. Taylor served as the Washington Corrections Education Association president for two years and was awarded the WA Governor’s Extra Mile Leadership award in 2016.  She was recognized by the Washington State University Criminal Justice Department with a Distinguished Service Award in 2015 for her work with a prison debate project, and a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019.  Taylor holds a master’s degree in Adult Education from University of Phoenix and a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Washington State University.

Previous Recorded Speakers Series 

Race, Equity and Engaged Citizenship | Fall 2020 Community Classroom Series

History of Civil Rights in the Tri-Cities: Past and Present

Robert Bauman and Robert Franklin, both History faculty at Washington State University, Tri-Cities, will give a presentation on the history of African-American activism in the Tri-Cities from the 1940s-1970s. The presentation will highlight efforts to end racial segregation in the Tri-Cities, including civil rights marches in Kennewick and Pasco in the 1960s and 1970s. The presentation is based on material from their forthcoming book, Echoes of Exclusion and Resistance: Voices from the Hanford Region, to be published by WSU Press in November. This event will also welcome the following panelists: life coach and radio personality Reka Robinson, Daishaundra Loving-Hearne, co-CEO of the Urban Poets Society and organizer with the Black Lives Matter Coalition: Tri-Cities, and Naima Chambers Smith, CEO of the Tri-Cities Diversity and Inclusion Council. They will talk about the advocacy efforts they are spearheading within our local community around racial justice and how others can be a part of supporting the work.

Digital Dissensus: Discovering Truth in an Era of Misinformation

Mike Caulfield, director of blended and networked learning at WSU Vancouver and nationally recognized digital literacy expert will discuss the roots of our current “digital dissensus” and explain how our approach to education may be making the problem worse. How do we design education for a world where information is plentiful, and attention is the scarcity? How do we encourage analysis and engagement in our students without having those same impulses gamed by bad actors? What epistemic stances and heuristics serve the public in a world where expertise is niche and very little is directly verifiable, and where facts are atomized, separated from analysis, and reassembled in bizarre and dangerous ways?

Incarceration, Education & Local Partnerships | Spring 2021 Community Classroom Series

Washington State University Tri-Cities hosted several presentations on potential solutions for the school-to-prison pipeline, as well as barriers for individuals’ successful re-entry into society from prison, as part of its latest “Community Classroom” series that begins this month.

Presenters will provided perspectives and strategies for how communities can proactively change statistics and pathways for successful rehabilitation. Attendees will be invited to explore the current state of affairs in the regional Tri-Cities area and investigate opportunities for stronger partnerships for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated members locally

Join us in learning from esteemed friends of the university including social service workers, educators, elected officials, prison leadership and WSU alumni as we go back to school to be better neighbors, leaders, and citizens and invest in developing a more inclusive Tri-Cities. 

This panel  discusses the role of the community and schools, in particular, in reducing the number of individuals entering the prison system. Speaking from respective areas of expertise, the moderated panel will discuss the possibilities and challenges of this work, as well as share ideas about how communities can come together to support members most vulnerable to incarceration.

Speakers: Dr. Ericka Walters, Harry B. Grant Jr., Emnanuel “Manny” Garcia

This panel discussion on the affordances of rehabilitative programs for incarcerated people. Each panelist will present on programs they oversaw or currently work with, as well as the role of the community in advocating for and providing resources and opportunities within local and state facilities.
Panelists:
Stephan Sinclair, Secretary of the Washington State Department of Corrections
Robert Jackson, Associate Superintendent of the Washington State Penitentiary
Carol Hinds, Family Advocate
Loretta Taylor, Educational Services Administrator

Noel Vest, a formerly incarcerated scholar and WSU Tri-Cities alumnus, will discusses principles and strategies for building a pathway out of incarceration and into higher education with moderator Anna Plemons, WSU Tri-Cities assistant vice chancellor of academic affairs. Drawing on his expertise as a post-doctoral research fellow in the Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab at Stanford, Vest speaks to the ways addiction and recovery impact reentry.