Wagoner bill protecting inmates and corrections officers passes Senate

Senate Bill 6063, which directly tackles management problems in the Department of Correction’s medical unit passed the Senate Monday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Keith Wagoner, R-Sedro-Woolley, would establish minimum qualifications for a prison medical director, set criteria for transferring a patient to a health care facility for medical assistance and standardize policies and procedures for offsite medical treatment.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration. It passed the Senate with a vote of 48-0.

“Inmates we are entrusted to care for during their incarceration, as well as the corrections officers, deserve an environment that is as safe as possible,” Wagoner said. “While accountability for this and other recent failures will undoubtedly be the highest concern for victims’ families, we also need to address the safety concerns for all involved. We have a duty to ensure we provide medical care to inmates under the state’s watch.”

Wagoner sponsored this legislation upon learning an inmate in Monroe prison died after not receiving treatment for cancer while serving time at the correctional facility. This legislation will require the professionals overseeing their medical treatment meet the medical standards needed to treat these patients.