KTTH OPINION

Rantz: Felons may earn six-figure salary from WA Dept of Corrections

Feb 7, 2023, 6:11 PM | Updated: Feb 8, 2023, 11:15 am
The Washington Department of Corrections is offering a six-figure-salary position to applicants it hopes are felons. It’s part of a larger strategy to “destigmatize” criminals and there is no felony conviction that disqualifies them from the job. (Screenshot from Washington Department of Corrections website) (Getty stock image)

The Washington Department of Corrections is offering a six-figure-salary position to applicants it hopes are felons. It’s part of a larger strategy to “destigmatize” criminals and there is no felony conviction that disqualifies them from the job.

The director of Person-Centered Services is a senior-level position with the DOC’s Executive Leadership Team. It will oversee programs to reduce recidivism and help felons re-enter society after serving sentences. It’s also a very high-paid job, earning up to $133,044 a year, on top of generous state benefits.

But applicants with clean criminal histories should be wary before applying. DOC says the “ideal” candidate is a felon, offering extra points to lawbreakers.

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Are you a felon? You might be perfect for government employment

The DOC job application notes that the “ideal candidate is a diligent and ambitious individual with lived experience as a former [sic] incarcerated individual.” Not only does it help destigmatize felons, but it also shows the DOC’s commitment to “an equitable and inclusive culture that fosters and inspires excellence” within the agency.

“The position is designed to bring the voice of incarcerated individuals to the department’s practices, and that is why someone with that lived experience is preferred,” a DOC spokesperson told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, noting that the last director was a felon.

(Screenshot via The Jason Rantz Show)

They must, however, be fully vaccinated as the state continues to pretend the COVID-19 vaccine stops the spread of the virus.

Though you wouldn’t expect a convicted armed robber or rapist to earn six figures from the state, or be offered preferential treatment over someone who hasn’t robbed a bank or sold fentanyl, Washington state agencies under Governor Jay Inslee adopted a strategy of destigmatizing criminals. They won’t even call them criminals or felons, instead referring to them as “formerly incarcerated individuals.” They even adopt this kind of language on sex offenders, which the DOC calls “residents on McNeil Island,” the location housing pedophiles and rapists.

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When a criminal background can help

Should candidates with a track record of violating the law be prioritized over law-abiding citizens? This might be the first time one’s questionable criminal background check might benefit the applicant. Though somewhat perplexingly, the DOC will still conduct a background check and criminal record history. But the information “will be considered in determining the applicant’s suitability and competence to perform in the position,” so it might actually be a plus to go through the process.

Are there any criminal histories that would disqualify applicants from a six-figure job? No.

“There isn’t necessarily a criminal background that would preclude someone from being considered. DOC will ensure that whoever is hired is thoroughly vetted,” a DOC spokesperson told The Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

It wouldn’t matter as far as it relates to the application process, anyway.

Democrats “banned the box,” which prevents them from considering the felony of an applicant until after they determine whether or not they deem an applicant qualified for a position. It’s supposed to guilt employers into checking their bias against felons. But for most, it’s a needless extra step wasting the time of hiring managers who know they won’t ever hire a convicted bank robber as their next teller.

Felons who have served their time obviously need to reintegrate into society and we’re better served by helping allow that to those who will be meaningful and productive members of society. But giving a criminal preferential treatment goes entirely too far. They shouldn’t be rewarded for their lawlessness.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show on weekday afternoons from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast. Follow @JasonRantz on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Felons may earn six-figure salary from WA Dept of Corrections