purdy.

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.

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