Edmonds Community College and the Washington DOC

Edmonds Community College (EdCC) is evil.

Ok, I may be coming on a bit strong there, but there is a seriously disturbing amount of messed-up-ness being perpetrated by EdCC. They hold the contract with the Washington DOC for providing classes to incarcerated people at Monroe. This includes Washington State Reformatory (WSR), Twin Rivers Unit (TRU), Minimum Security Unit (MSU), and Special Offender Unit (SOU). I’ll grant that some of the messed up stuff they pull is a result of the DOC having forced certain things into their contract, like not being allowed to offer Direct Transfer Agreement degrees, or offering their classes to only people with seven years to the gate or less. While on the one hand I want to blame the WA DOC for the messed up things in the education contract, that feels like blaming the guy who said “I wanna go steal something” then sat on his couch for the rest of the night for the neighbors getting robed. Instead, shouldn’t we be placing the blame on the guy who went out and robbed them? The DOC may have come up with the idea of taking money for educating people in prison, then proceed to not educate people in prison, but it was EdCC who said “that sounds like a great idea” and proceeded to take a ton of money from taxpayers and rich donors with promises of education that they never intended to deliver.

If it’s not enough for them to withhold quality schooling from incarcerated people, they also actively fight to keep anyone else from accidentally giving people in prison any book learning as well.

Most evenings and weekends all the classrooms in the education buildings are empty. They are empty not for a lack of students or because there aren’t people wanting to teach classes, but because Edmonds Community College refuses to let anyone else use the space and fight tooth and nail to continue to claim those empty classrooms as “occupied territory” that no one else is allowed to use.

This is like some neurotic kid getting it in his head that just because they don’t want to share their cookies with a friend, that no one else is ever allowed to give their friend a cookie. This goes even so far as to include no one else being allowed to send their friend a cookie in the mail. Not exaggerating. EdCC refuses to proctor tests or give support to students taking correspondence courses because “Edmonds resources are only for Edmonds students.”

I’m sure that out there in the world there is a fine group of really lovely people who run EdCC and another group of wonderful people who take classes there and that both enjoy cheering on the Tritons at their local sports-game events. However, EdCC has caused incarcerated people a lot of harm and continues to cause harm through a policy of “not playing nice with the other children.” This is a college, so I don’t think it’s too much to ask that they demonstrate skills we were all taught in kindergarten. Ya know, like sharing. So if you’re a Triton, or know someone who is, do us incarcerated folks a favor and demand there be an accounting of what the satellite campus is doing here at MCC-WSR.


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