Department of Corrections

The Nisqually Corrections Center is charged by law to be responsible for the safekeeping, care and custody of all inmates held in the facility. Our commitment extends beyond safekeeping and custody to providing opportunities for change.

The mission of the Nisqually Corrections Center is to protect the persons and property of the community. The facility accomplishes this mission by the secure and humane holding of inmates legally detained by the police or committed by the court. Nisqually Corrections Center has three basic functions:

  1. To maintain the security and orderly operation of the facility.
  2. To ensure the safety of the public, visitors, staff, and inmates.
  3. To provide the necessary services required by recognized correctional and BIA standards to the inmate population.

 

The philosophy of the Nisqually Corrections Center is expressed in the following statements:

  1. Productive activity is preferable to idleness.
  2. The Nisqually Corrections Center has an obligation to provide opportunities for positive change through various programs and services.
  3. Inmates are part of the community and will be returning to the community. Understanding one’s relationship and obligation to the community is an aspect of positive growth and change.

The Facility

The facility is constructed of security enhanced modular buildings. General population housing units consist of tiered bunks, toilets, sinks, and shower areas. Segregation cells are single cell housing units with toilets and sinks. The design and workflow of the facility allows for direct supervision of inmates and maximizes observation through enhanced video surveillance equipment with digital video recording capabilities. The facility also includes full service kitchen and laundry facilities.

Partnerships

In addition to Nisqually, partnerships have been developed with several other agencies to provide housing and various correctional services such as Work Release Programs and Day Reporting. These agencies include:

  • Port Gamble
  • Squaxin
  • Suquamish
  • Puyallup
  • Lacey
  • Tumwater
  • Yelm
  • Rainier
  • Tenino
  • Thurston County
  • ICE
  • Swinomish
  • Skokomish
  • Ft. Lewis
  • Nooksak
  • Washington State DOC
Staffing


The facility staffing pattern allows for maximum coverage and ensures staffing levels are consistent with the needs of the inmates and orderly operation of the facility. We have very knowledgeable correctional staff that has experience working in all levels of custody ranging from minimum security to special management units. Several of our staff is bilingual. In addition to successfully completing the BIA Corrections Officer Academy, all staff receives annual refresher training and continues their professional development through specialized training. Training / development topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Crisis Intervention
  • Universal Precautions
  • CPR / First-Aid
  • Emergency Procedures
  • Security
  • Supervision
  • Inmate Rights
  • Constitutional Law
  • Tribal Code
  • Defensive Tactics
  • Report Writing
  • Interviewing
  • Risk Management
  • Professionalism / Ethics
  • Safe Workplace
  • Contraband Control
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Inmate Manipulation
  • Court Procedures
  • Inmate Transportation

Inmate Population

The facility’s rated bed capacity is 45. The population remains at capacity on a consistent basis. The inmate population is made up of both tribal and other agencies. Inmates range from those being held pending arraignment following their initial arrest to individuals who have been sentenced to one year or less. Types of confinement also include those held on outstanding warrants, those awaiting pre-trial services, treatment programs and/or community corrections program placement.

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Classification

Classification is a process of evaluating, separating and housing inmates in terms of security level, behavior, work assignments, and program participation. Classification begins the moment an inmate enters the facility. Following orientation, inmates are classified and assigned to a permanent housing unit. Inmates are classified based on the same rules and guidelines regardless of sex, race, color, tribal affiliation, creed, or national origin. Classification levels are based on:

  • Behavior – positive conduct and/or disciplinary violations.
  • Attitude and motivation.
  • Program or special needs.
  • Security risks – to include detainers and warrants.
  • Sentence limits set by the court(s).
  • Program and work interests.
  • Available facility resources.

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Programs and Services

The facility works closely with the community and other agencies to provide a wide range of programs and services to the inmate population to assist them once they are released. Some of the programs and services include:

  • Continuing Education
  • Drug and Alcohol Assessment and Counseling Services
  • Religious and Spiritual Services
  • Volunteer Worker Program
  • Lacey Roadside Litter Control
  • Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Mental Health Services
  • Work Release
  • Commissary
  • Electronic Home Monitoring

In addition to the services listed above, inmates are provided basic healthcare through tribal resources and a contracted physician. The facility’s physician provides a wide range of services such as 24 hour on call consultation, emergency referrals, medication oversight, and on-site evaluations and examinations.

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Recreation and Leisure Activities

The facility has a covered outdoor recreation area and an open exercise / recreation area with a basketball hoop. The facility also has a common use area with a DVD and VCR Inmates can view programs that have been purchased by the facility or donated to the facility. A large variety of reading material is also available to the inmate population. Inmates can check out novels, magazines and periodicals purchased by the facility or donated to the facility. Other activities available include puzzles, board games and playing cards.

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Visiting

Inmates are allowed and encouraged to maintain positive ties with the community through visits. All inmates, except those who have lost their visiting privileges through the Disciplinary Process, are entitled to have visitors. Inmates are allowed two thirty minutes visits per week with family and friends. Due to space limitations, inmates are limited to two visitors at one time. Children under the age of eighteen must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

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Religious, Spiritual and Ceremonial Practices

Religious and spiritual life is a very active aspect of our program. We respect all beliefs and will work with every inmate to provide for their spiritual needs while in detention. Participation in religious, spiritual or ceremonial activities is voluntary. Our basic direction comes from the Religious Freedom Act. Practices which threaten institutional safety and order may be prohibited.

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Inmate Discipline

In order to maintain security and order it is necessary for the facility to have an inmate disciplinary process for rule violations. Nisqually Corrections believes in a positive disciplinary program. Sanctions for rule violations are assessed in accordance with the severity of the offense. No inmate is sanctioned until a disciplinary hearing is completed and the inmate has had an opportunity to appeal the decision of the hearing. Rule violations are broken down into two categories, major and minor. Every effort is made to develop a positive and respectful relationship with each inmate. The goal is to define the negative behavior, educate the inmate and apply the appropriate sanction(s). Sanctions include, but are not limited to: verbal counseling, written reprimand, loss of privileges and/or placement in disciplinary segregation for a pre-determined period based on the severity of the offense.

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Community Involvement

The facility and department is dedicated to being an integral part of the community. Not only do we use the resources available, we maintain a strong commitment of giving back to community. Department staff takes an active role by volunteering for various functions and programs throughout the year. The inmate population also participates through the Volunteer Work Program, utilizing tribal services and participating in programs to maintain their relationships and connections to the community.

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MISSION: The Nisqually Tribe’s mission is to perpetuate our home and our culture, by helping our people thrive.

 

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