This Valentine’s Day, the Tacoma News Tribune‘s “The Nose” posted this picture on twitter:
To Washingtonians, the conversation heart pun is a reference to the Washington Corrections Center for Women, long known to locals as “Purdy,” after its location in Gig Harbor.
Purdy has long been a sight of experimental rehabilitation programs, beginning with its inception as a community college campus style facility with dormitories in 1971. After a spate of escapes and an increase in female offenders, Purdy transitioned into a more conventional corrections facility.
Nonetheless, innovations continue as the state tries to meet the needs of incarcerated women. Purdy is home to the only Early Head Start program operating in a prison. This excellent documentary Purdy highlights the struggles of incarcerated mothers participating in the state’s residential parenting program.
Some notable statistics from the documentary’s homepage on KBTC:
“• One out of seventeen women that enter prison in this country, do so while pregnant.
• Children of incarcerated parents are seven times more likely to become incarcerated themselves as adults.
• Incarcerated women in the state of Washington have an average sentence of fifteen and a half months, which means that half the women currently in prison will be back in the community next year.”
Watch Purdy here.