WA Secretary of State Blogs

Kim Wyman visits Airway Heights Corrections Center Library

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »

Ken Raskey, Joyce Hanna, and Kim Wyman in the AHCC Library

Ken Raske, Joyce Hanna, and Kim Wyman in the AHCC Library

On Friday, May 31st the Airway Heights Corrections Center Branch of the Washington State Library had two special visitors: Secretary of State Kim Wyman and Assistant Secretary of State Ken Raske. The visit lasted around an hour and a half. AHCC Associate Superintendent Ron Haynes was also in attendance. On the way into the library, they got to see the inmates working with the dogs and Ron Haynes explained the program to them. The visit was very comfortable. Both Kim Wyman and Ken Raske were very interested in the library and what we are doing here. They asked lots of questions and toured the library. They were interested in our Re-entry Resources and our Library Reads Program. Both asked questions about our collection. I showed them the workroom, which is full of gift materials and explained how we go about deciding which items to add and which items to offer to other branch libraries. Then I explained that what is left over we offer to a list of other places. They were both very concerned about our safety and security and Ron Haynes explained the security side of the institution.  On the way out we stopped by the Law Library, which is run by DOC. They both showed an interest in what legal resources were available to the inmates. I introduced them to Rachael Shook who runs the Law Library here. Kim Wyman and Ken Raske are very personable people and I felt at ease with them. I was very impressed with both of them and I think Kim is going to make a fantastic Secretary of State and I am personally glad to have her in charge of the office. 

Ken Raskey and Kim Wyman in front of AHCC

Ken Raske and Kim Wyman in front of AHCC


6th and largest Library Reads Program at Airway Heights Corrections Center

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »

AHCC pic for blog     Airway Heights Correction Center Library is starting its 6th Library Reads Program. We started this program one year ago with John Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row”. After that we read “Sky Fisherman” by Craig Lesley, “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, “Little Bee” by Chris Cleave and “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” by Jamie Ford.

     This program has been very exciting and I am amazed at the way the guys get into the books, whether they like it or not. Every discussion has been exhilarating for the entire group. No matter how the inmates feel about a given book, the author has accomplished his or her goal. The books have them thinking about what is written and how it is written, not just if they like it or not.

     As we go into 2013 we are changing modes a little and our book in January will be “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins. This book is really pumping up the group. I may have to increase the number of discussion groups to accommodate the interest in this program or try to find a different place to hold it. I do not want to limit who can be involved in the discussions because this program is so positive. It is good for the inmates here at Airway Heights, and for me, and good for the communities the inmates will release into.

     This program is so much more than a reading group. The inmates are having a positive experience and learning social behavior skills as well. I love to read and I love sharing my interest in reading. I see inmates discussing books at the tables in the library now and helping each other pick out books to read. “The Hunger Games” is bringing in faces I have not had in the group before and increasing the interest in reading. I am very excited to see so many people reading for the pure joy of reading.


High Hopes for 2012

Monday, April 23rd, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »


AHCC Library

2011 saw many changes at the Airway Heights Corrections Center (AHCC). The institution changed to a closed movement facility and this has had a dramatic impact on library attendance. From what was a full library most movements has changed to about half our normal capacity.  

We started the year out with a Library Snapshot Day. Everyone had a blast and the atmosphere here was full of excitement. In February DOC started to make changes to increase security and for the next 6 months we were open and then closed due to lack of inmate clerks. Our budgets had been slashed so we started to feel the impact of that. Even with all the changes within DOC, the AHCC library has remained the center of activity. I still see all my regular patrons and reading remains high on the list of positive activities within the prison environment. 

In October, the AHCC branch library distributing the first book for our “AHCC Library Reads Together” program. We had our first session at the end of November and discussed Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. Since then the program has tripled in size and we have read The Skyfisherman by Craig Lesley and To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. We are just starting our newest selection, Little Bee by Chris Cleave. This program is really having a positive impact. The inmates are talking about these books in their day rooms and the discussions in our group are amazing.  

I have high hopes for the AHCC library in 2012.

Accolades for AHCC Library Staff Joyce Hanna

Friday, January 27th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | 2 Comments »

Joyce Hanna

It is always nice to hear that you are doing a good job.  Joyce Hanna recently received this Kite telling her how much she is appreciated at Airway Heights Corrections Center.


Book club a success at Airway Heights Corrections Center

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »

On November 18, 2011 at 9:50 am the Airway Heights Corrections Center Inmate Book Club met for the first time. It was a wonderful experience for the inmates and for me as well. Our first book was Cannery Row, by John Steinbeck. There were 13 inmates who read the book and participated in the discussion. On December 2, 2011 at 8:00 am we met again to view the movie. Only 7 inmates were able to make the viewing. Afterwards we discussed the differences between the movie and the book. We were lucky enough to have someone who had actually lived near Cannery Row in Monterey California so it livened up the discussion. Of course the movie was not filmed there, and all of us noticed the change in and addition of some characters between the book and the movie. The book discussion and the movie discussion were both very interesting and I was happy with the range in personalities we had who attended both sessions.

Our next book will be The Sky Fisherman, by Craig Lesley. We have not set the date yet for the discussion but it will be sometime in January. The books are being passed out now and it will be interesting to see if we get more or less participation this time.

Kindness does not stop at the fences of prison

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »

Joyce Hanna

Joyce Hanna, Library Associate at Airway Heights Corrections Center, received a phone call from an inmate’s mother this week thanking her for helping her son. She did not give his name because he is still at AHCC and she did not want to cause any problems for him. Joyce reports that “I explained that I was only doing my job and she told me that her son said that I did it with kindness and care which he does not get a lot of in prison. It brought tears to my eyes. I thanked her.”

Joyce says that it is moments like this that make everything she goes through worth it. She realizes that even the small things can be important in prison.

A message to the outside world

Monday, August 15th, 2011 Posted in Articles, Institutional Library Services | No Comments »

AHCC Library

Recently an Interlibrary loan book was returned to the Airway Heights Corrections Center (AHCC) Library.  Now we are not sure if the inmate enjoyed the book, but it seems that he felt it was a good way to leave a message to the next reader.  Attached to the inside front cover is a message to any future readers to feel free to contact him, with address supplied.