Washington State Department of Corrections Employee Reviews

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Nursing jobs
Nurse (Current Employee) –  Monroe, WAFebruary 18, 2017
Majority of coworkers are great but some are toxic but can't be fired. Supervisors are truly terrible. No advancement for RNs. LPNs do same job as RNs with less pay. All are underpaid. Custody is especially underpaid for this dangerous job so turnover makes everyone less safe. Most nurses never get a weekend off. Never praised for job well done but only criticized. Inmates harm themselves and others. A lot of mental health problems and lies and manipulation. That applies to management too!
Pros
Job security. Variety of experiences. Pension if you don't die early due to stress.
Cons
Power and control of Management. Schedules. Underpaid. Prison issues!
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Best Job of my life!
Practicum Student - Psychology (Former Employee) –  Belfair, WashingtonSeptember 13, 2016
Typical work days are flexible and management staff are always looking for ways to build work relationships and improve atmosphere. Co-workers were always helpful and happy. The hardest part of the job is being in a prison. The most enjoyable part is being there with the inmates and co-workers.
Pros
The staff is amazing
Cons
Learning to navigate prison
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Doc
Community Corrections Specialist (Current Employee) –  Everett, WAJuly 16, 2016
Good salary and benefits. Good work schedule. Some good coworkers. Some incompetent coworkers. Public safety driven employees at lower levels.
Poor and incompetent management who poorly pretend to care about their staff who do the hard work on a daily basis.
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Great officers and leadership to work with and for.
Sergeant (Former Employee) –  Monroe, WAMay 11, 2016
Loved working here it was a great experience to be had. The fellow officers were great always looking out for each other.
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avoid doc
Office Assistant 2 (Former Employee) –  Tumwater, WAApril 5, 2016
dealing with the most difficult situations and people has consequences. The people are bitter and jaded, the work is repetitive and unsatisfying
Pros
benefits
Cons
doc workforce
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Great people
Correction and Custody Officer (Former Employee) –  Tumwater, WAJanuary 25, 2016
Great people to work with always concerned about one another, very knowledgeable and giving. However I was always around inmates and safety was a concern. State budget did not allow for extra safety measures or training.
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Excellent Benefits
Corrections Officer (Current Employee) –  Monroe, WAJanuary 9, 2016
A very professional place to work where emphasis on safety and security is not a day to day requirement but is in fact a minute to minute requirement.
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Rewarding Place of Work
Correctional Officer (Former Employee) –  Aberdeen, WASeptember 25, 2015
Overall good place to work. Although unsteady work in the beginning worth the wait for a Full Time positions. Great benifits and pay.
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High stress level environment
Secretary Senior (Current Employee) –  Toppenish Field OfficeJune 29, 2015
The Dept. of Corrections on any given day can be a day of seeing 6 offenders to 35 offenders on a report day and daily. It can be very stressful dealing with upset offenders or family members due to a loved one being placed in jail. I have learned to keep my self in check and that my body language and my words can change a situation very fast.
My co-workers and myself work as a team a very good support unit so we are able to keep open communication throughout the office.
The hardest part of my job I would say, is not having control of dangerous situations. The most enjoyable part of my job is being able to work in an office with staff that are open and are proactive.
Pros
Positive work environment with effective communication
Cons
Added on job duties with no compensation but an expectation
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Different learning experience
Food Services Specialist / Cook (Former Employee) –  Stilicoom,WAMay 23, 2015
Each day was different working at an Correctional facility. The staff were good to work with I learned a lot sad they had shut it down because of budget cuts.
Pros
The staff cool to work with each day.
Cons
Nervouse with inmates.
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exciting, challenging and fast paced situation
Community Corrections Officer (Current Employee) –  Vancouver, WAMay 9, 2015
I was a student involved in Criminal Justice doing an internship for the Department of Justice, under the direction of the Director of Governmental Affairs for the Washington Sate University.
The hardest part of the job was juggling single parenthood at the time, while attending full time at the University. The most enjoyable part of the situation was that I relished learning new and exciting facts, and then actually putting them to work.
Pros
learning, supportive envir
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Great Benefits and people
Washington State Correctional Officer II/Sergeant (Former Employee) –  Airway Heights, WAApril 22, 2015
Long hours for those willing to put them in, lower management are exceptional people who are always willing to help. Just as with any department or organization that has to deal with inmates, manipulation of staff causes many to lose their jobs. Qualified in every position as Correctional Officer II and Sergeant. Had some issues with some co-workers and higher echelon with their interpretations, however, prior to being able to resolve all issues, had to leave to care for father in law for his health and who eventually passed away recently.
Pros
Tight Group of co-workers and Mid-Level Supervisors
Cons
Manipulation of female staff by inmates.
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Positive work environment that promotes unity and diversity
Intern Project Manager (Former Employee) –  Spokane, WAMarch 9, 2015
The environment of DOC HR department is a respectable, creating a family type environment. The HR Director and Managers strive to provide education and information to its employees that assist the front line DOC workers. In return, front line workers are able to perform their jobs knowing that the Human Resource department to looking out for the employees best interest.
Pros
Positive & unified work environment; training
Cons
Budget cuts at this time
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Classified
Office Assistant (Former Employee) –  Monroe, WAJanuary 13, 2015
A good place to work, no advancement available. Have fun. There is not more to tell about this job. It was too long ago.
Pros
none
Cons
none
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High Speed Low Drag, Very Stressful
Correctional Officer (Former Employee) –  Olympia, WADecember 29, 2014
You never know what to expect when you enter a penal institution. Every day provides a new challenge.

I learned how to effectively communicate with a very diverse population of people that come from all walks of life. I can typically diffuse hostile situations utilizing my training in "Communication" which places an emphasis on the individual actively and constructively thinking about what they are upset about. Listen to the person, and hear their issue. Ask them what outcome they feel is appropriate. Depending on their answer, provide the least desirable outcome and how it will affect them first. Then follow up with one or two more positive / constructive resolutions. This deescalation technique often allows a very hostile person to calm down on their own without further incident. Any job within the Law Enforcement community is highly stressful and it takes a unique individual to weather that storm day after day.

As an Officer I often felt like the middle man. On one hand the inmates were always upset about something, and on the other hand management was always questioning the day to day decisions that we (as Officers) were forced to make. The one and only thing that I will miss about law enforcement is the camaraderie felt between my fellow brothers and sisters in blue.

The most enjoyable part of the job is very rare. However, occasionally you feel that you've made a positive difference in someones life. Sometimes it can be in the form of a lecture, a life lesson, or simply leading by example. It is an amazing feeling when a person tells you that they chose to take
  more... the right path, or make a positive decision based on a previous interaction that they had with me. It has only happened a handful of times in over 7 years, but it's a feeling that I'll never forget.  less
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Loved this place
Correction Officer (Former Employee) –  Washington StateOctober 21, 2014
I was enrolled in the Correction Officer Academy; learned pat searches, cuffing, defensive skills, paper work etc.
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Correctional Officer
Corrections Officer (Former Employee) –  Medical Lake, WASeptember 8, 2014
Work can become routine. Dealing with offender population can be tough. You need to have thick skin and be prepared to be called in at anytime when starting off. Like many employers, supervision can be tough. There are some amazing supervisors and there are some horrible ones. Politics and union contracts protect seasoned officers who should be moved into another state position or retire. Shift work.
Pros
Pay, benefits, possibility of overtime
Cons
Disgruntled Officers and Government Politics
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Specialist with the Department of Corrections
Family Services Specialist (Current Employee) –  Tumwater, WashingtonApril 29, 2014
The best aspect of my job is helping others and feeling like you are appreciated for the work that you do. Each day is different no two days are alike. Co-workers are great to work with and possess the same team goals. My colleagues are fantastic people,
Pros
Flexibility in work hours, self satisfaction for doing your job well.
Cons
Limited promotional opportunities
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I've worked for two state agencies in WA state: DOC and DSHS. DOC was by far the most forward in providing opportunities for growth.
Corrections Record Specialist (Former Employee) –  Tacoma, WAApril 8, 2014
I've worked for two state agencies in WA state: DOC and DSHS. DOC was by far the most forward in providing opportunities for growth.
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A job like no other. Everyday brings in new and unique experiences.
Correctional Officer (Current Employee) –  Monroe, WAOctober 23, 2013
A typical day at Washington State Department of Corrections is not only challenging but fun. As an officer, you get to interact with offenders on daily and nightly basis depending on the shift you are assigned to work. However, the fun part is really establishing a report on how you carry yourself around offenders and staff. Everyone is unique in their own ways. The emphasis on team can never be forgotten. The most enjoyable part of the job is being exposed to something different every day. Offenders are just like small kids. They try at most to outsmart officers whether by trying to bend rules or trying to get what they want at the expense of the rules set by policy. The hardest part of the job is basically not coming to work. Every time you miss you work, you miss something new.
Pros
Fun place to learn team work and be good at it.
Cons
No educational incentives.
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Overall rating

3.8
Based on 23 reviews
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Ratings by category

Work/Life Balance
3.7
Compensation/Benefits
4.5
Job Security/Advancement
3.9
Management
3.3
Culture
3.3

Washington State Department of Corrections Reviews by Location