Monroe Correctional Complex
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2009)|
|Security class||Maximum, Close, Medium, Minimum|
|Managed by||Washington State Department of Corrections|
|Director||Scott Frakes, Superintendent|
The Washington State Reformatory Unit (WSRU) opened in 1910. It is now part of what is referred to as the five-unit Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC). WSRU houses inmates with a "closed" custody designation or lower. In other words, though it is a closed-custody facility, some inmates qualify as medium-custody, or even long-term minimum custody. Inmates are housed in two large cellblocks, the A-B wing and C-D wing. Approximately 875 inmates are housed there at any given time.
A Segregation unit (Cell Block 3) provides about 80 beds for inmates who need to be temporarily removed from the general population.
WSRU has an inpatient hospital that can also be used by other correctional facilities within the state. Major medical care can often be performed here, but serious surgical procedures are performed in community hospitals.
Vocational classes offered at WSRU include printing, information technology and personal computer support specialist, and inmates can earn a GED or community college associates degree while incarcerated at WSRU.
A staff-supervised Youth Program is offered to high school and middle school students. It is designed to deter students from becoming involved in a criminal lifestyle by meeting selected inmates who tell them about the choices they made which led to their incarceration.
Class II and III jobs are located within WSRU. Class III jobs provide essential services to the facility such as maintenance, janitorial, clerical warehouse workers, and kitchen work. Class II jobs are designed to reduce the cost of goods and services to state agencies and other tax-supported entities. These include laundry services, a print shop, a license tab shop, and the panel program. Class I industries were once housed at WSRU, but were eliminated in July 2004 as a result of a Washington Supreme Court decision that held that inmates can not be employed by private commercial enterprises.
Inmates have access to classification and mental health counselors at WSRU, in addition to a wide range of paid and volunteer staff.
Additionally, the other four facilities are Minimum Security Unit (MSU), Twin Rivers Unit (TRU), Special Offenders Unit (SOU), and Intensive Management Unit IMU. To clarify: Monroe Correctional Complex; (MCC) comprises these five Prisons. Each within its own perimeter. And seldom will they mix. Normally Offenders from one prison are not allowed to enter inside the perimeter of any other facility.
Murder of correctional officer
On January 29, 2011, Correctional Officer Jayme Biendl was strangled to death by an inmate in the prison chapel. She had raised concerns about being the sole officer working in the chapel. Authorities identified inmate Byron Scherf (an inmate serving life without parole for his third rape) as the suspect in the murder. Scherf, serving a life sentence without parole, allegedly murdered Biendl during an escape attempt. He is currently charged with aggravated murder, and the prosecution is seeking the death penalty. This was the first time that an officer has been killed, by an inmate, at the 100-year-old facility.
The murder occurred because of several factors including officers not being where they were supposed to be or doing what they should have been doing. Two officers were taking a cigarette break instead of helping her close the area. Those officers lied to try to save their jobs but were eventually terminated.
- Washington State Department of Corrections
- List of law enforcement agencies in Washington
- List of United States state correction agencies
- List of U.S. state prisons