Washington State Corrections Employees Can No Long Call Convicted Felons ‘Offenders’

Washington State DOC wants criminals to no longer be called "offenders."

Washington State DOC wants criminals to no longer be called “offenders.”

Washington State Corrections Employees Can No Long Call Convicted Felons ‘Offenders’

Olympia, Washington – The Washington State Department of Corrections has told its employees that it is no longer appropriate to refer to convicted felons as “offenders.”

You’d have to be convicted of a felony crime to make it into the Washington State DOC prison system, but calling these felons “offenders” has “negative connotations.” DOC employees have told us that in a memo sent out to DOC employees, they are now being told to refer to the convicts as individuals, students, or patients.

The word “offender” itself was the wording recommended by the DOC since 2000, when they decided the the previously used term “inmate,” had negative connotations. This change coincides with the U.S. Department of Justice push to refer to convicted felons as “justice involved individuals.” The DOC is apparently just dropping the “justice involved” part. Apparently it’s too negative to label an imprisoned violent felon as “justice involved” as well as an “offender.”

Incarcerated criminals can take classes to help them get jobs when they are released, and those felons would be referred to as “students.”

We requested a copy of the memo from the DOC but they haven’t responded to our request yet. We are told that DOC documentation will be edited to scrub the word “offender” from their documentation.

We can see the direction that this is headed, and in another 16 years the words, “individual” and “student” won’t be positive enough. The DOC thinks the wording contributes to these keeping these people from being productive members of society. Why not just make the change now and refer to drug dealers as “business owners,” or “entrepreneurs,” or maybe even “future president?”

With the DOJ push, we can expect to see more wording changes in the future.

Do you have any ideas for what to call our population of convicted felons?  Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

  • I AM DEPLORABLE ✓ᵀᴿᵁᴹᴾ


  • Kristen Loomis

    I can’t even with this. Why the fuck are we being PC about people who’s least worry is about being PC? They are inmates in a prison convicted of a crime which is called an offense, which makes them… wait for it… OFFENDERS. What’s next? Ribbons for everyone for participation? If they’re choosing to be constructive with their time and furthering their education, awesome, but they’re still offenders. You know what has “negative connotations”? COMMITTING THE CRIMES THAT PUT THEM THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    What’s next? Story time with juice boxes and teddy bear shaped cookies? Come the hell on already people.

  • John Bechtel

    law abidement impaired?

  • Edward Tilton

    Tinker Bell would be OK

  • unclehomerr..

    God forbid we offend them by calling them ‘offenders’! What’re we gonna call ’em?? Guests??

  • DerekJR321

    Fair enough. Hopefully the CO’s will start referring to them as “CRIMINALS” then.

  • SC

    Drug dealers can now be called “unlicensed pharmacists”
    Burglars can now be called “property redistribution managers”
    Arsonists can now be called “flammable control specialist”

  • pete480

    “The DOC thinks the wording contributes to these keeping these people from being productive members of society.”

    Uh, no, their criminal fucking record keeps them from being productive members of society.

  • Gio

    Assholes, shitheads, fuck ups… need more suggestions?.

  • Jack Reilly

    STUDENTS…………….WTF has happened to the America I once knew, when right was right, and wrong was wrong……nowadays, if your right your wrong……PC and the Democraps have really screwed up our once great nation…….time to take it back,……………Trump 2016.

  • Scott Malcolm

    Political correctness: a doctrine, fostered by a delusional,
    illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream
    media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to
    pick up a turd by the clean end.


  • James Thompson

    I am a criminal defense attorney. I defend people accused of crimes for a living. And even I think this level of political correctness is ridiculous. If a person has pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury/judge, they are indeed legally considered to be an offender. And actually offender is one of the nicer terms that could be used.