- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 25, 2017

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Stephen Sinclair has been named secretary of the Washington state Department of Corrections.

Gov. Jay Inslee made the announcement Tuesday. Sinclair, who begins the job immediately, takes over from Jody Becker, who has been serving as acting secretary since January.

The appointment comes just over a year after previous secretary Dan Pacholke resigned amid a controversy over the early release of prisoners.

Becker will continue at the agency as deputy secretary. Sinclair has worked at the agency for 28 years, starting as a correctional officer. He worked his way up to superintendent and deputy director, and currently serves as assistant secretary of the prisons division.

While superintendent of the Washington State Penitentiary, Sinclair created the Sustainable Practices Lab, which employs inmates in jobs that reduce the cost of facility operations.

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