Special Employment Services for Offenders Program
Contact: Karen Arnold
Department of Natural Resources
P.O. Box 47037
Olympia, WA 98504-7037
Phone: (360) 902-1315
State Website: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/Pages/default.aspx
Participation: An average of about 260 adults and 30 juveniles per month were served by Special Employment Services for Offenders Program between July 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013.
Who is Served: The program targets youth and adults incarcerated in state correctional facilities. Individuals are assigned to the program’s special employment services through an interagency agreement between the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Department of Corrections (DOC), and Department of Social and Health Services – Juvenile Rehabilitation Administration (JRA).
Program Description: The program provides daily work opportunities for offenders supervised by DNR Forest Crew Supervisors. Projects include fire suppression, reforestation, thinning, forest plantation maintenance, recreation site maintenance, cleaning up streams, controlling invasive weeds, maintaining forest roads and services to other governmental agencies.
Other Program Characteristics: DNR trains adult inmates and youth offenders to function on 10-person forestry crews. During a typical year, crews plant trees from January through April, undergo wildland fire-fighter training in the spring, fight fires and improve timber stands during the summer, and do pre-commercial thinning, illegal dumpsite cleanup and litter collection year round. In addition, specialized crews are trained to work in saw mills, carpenter shops, sign shops, metal fabrication shops, sewing and upholstery shops, and vehicle maintenance and repair shops.
Program History: The program was first authorized as an adult honor camp program by the Legislature in 1943. The first honor camp was built near Larch Mountain in 1956, and the program has continued at various locations for over 60 years.
Planning Cycle: Biennial.
- 29 10-person hand crews trained, certified and available for fire response.
- Train all wildland firefighting crew members to National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Firefighter 2 qualifications.
- Staff three mobile fire kitchens.
- Complete all contracted work for other state, federal, and local agencies.
- Complete approximately 15,000 acres of silvicultural treatments on state trust lands, including planting, thinning, pruning, vegetation management, and site preparation.
Funding and Regional Division: The number of camps was reduced from seven to five and the number of crews was reduced from 48 to 34 in 2009 due to budget reductions. The number of crews was further reduced to 29 in 2011 with four of the crews available seasonally.
Olympic, Jefferson County
Cedar Creek, Thurston County
Larch, Clark County
Airway Heights, Spokane County
Naselle, Pacific County
Funding is secured through DNR’s normal budget development process. DNR develops its budget based on the historical work provided by the camps and projected future workloads for emergency response, state trust land management, and services contracted out to other agencies on a cost reimbursement basis.
State Funding: $6,305,200 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2015) State General Fund and State Timber Sales receipts.
Federal Funding: $48,600 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2015) USDA Forest Service National Fire Plan grant.
Statutory Authority: RCW 72.09, 72.64.090, 76.04. Administered by the Department of Natural Resources.