Monroe Correctional Complex

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Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC)
Monroe Correctional Complex is located in Washington (state)
Monroe Correctional Complex
Location in Washington
Location Monroe
Coordinates 47°50′37″N 122°0′7″W / 47.84361°N 122.00194°W / 47.84361; -122.00194Coordinates: 47°50′37″N 122°0′7″W / 47.84361°N 122.00194°W / 47.84361; -122.00194
Status Operational
Security class Minimum, Medium, Close, Maximum
Capacity 2,400
Opened 1910
Managed by Washington State Department of Corrections
Warden Mike Obenland, Superintendent
Street address 16550 177th Ave. SE
City Monroe
County Snohomish County
State Washington
Postal code P. O. Box 777 (WSR/IMU)
P. O. Box 7001 (MSU)
P. O. Box 514 (SOU)
P. O. Box 888 (TRU)
Country United States

Monroe Correctional Complex is a Washington State Department of Corrections men's prison located in Monroe, Washington.[1] With an operating capacity of 2,500, it is the second largest prison in the state.[2] It opened 107 years ago in 1910, twenty-one years after statehood.

Monroe Correctional Complex is located at 16550 177th Avenue Southeast



Monroe Correctional Complex is located on a 365-acre campus in Monroe, Washington.[3] On campus, there is 6 housing units by the names of:

  • SOU
  • MSU
  • WSRU
  • IPU
  • TRU
  • IMU

These vary from minimum to maximum security.[4]


A Segregation unit (Cell Block 3) provides about 80 beds for inmates who need to be temporarily removed from the general population.

MCC 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 MCC include printing, information technology and personal computer support specialist, and inmates can earn a GED while incarcerated at MCC. An independent non-profit, University Beyond Bars (UBB), offers college courses as a volunteer organization, and some people incarcerated at MCC have earned associate degrees despite the prohibition of state funding for post-secondary education.

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 MCC. 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 MCC, 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 MCC, 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.


Monroe Correctional Complex opened 107 years ago in 1910, making it the second oldest operational prison in Washington state.[1] On January 29, 2011, Officer Jayme Biendl was strangled to death with an amplifying cord by an inmate within prison walls, inmate Byron Scherf was accused of the murder.[5] Officer Biendl repeatedly filed work orders for additional security measures to her Supervisors which went unanswered. One of her Supervisors Sergeant Jimmy Fletcher signed a sworn afidative that he signed one of the work orders and forwarded it up the chain of Command. In reaction to the murder, Officers at MCC now carry with them mace, and a "panic button" in case of emergency, and inmates face higher restriction of recreational activities.[6]

Notable inmates[edit]

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