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Steve Sinclair, MPA

Co-Director, Sustainability in Prisons Project
Assistant Secretary of Prisons for Washington State Department of Corrections

Stephen is a 27 year veteran of the Washington State Department of Corrections (WA DOC). He has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility including, but not limited to, Intelligence and Investigation Investigator, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, Associate Superintendent, Superintendent of Washington State Penitentiary, and Deputy Director of Prisons. In his current role as Assistant Secretary of Prisons, he oversees the state’s 12 correctional facilities which house more than 16,000 adult male and female felons. These institutions also employ 5,170 employees and their operating costs represent $897 million of WA DOC’s biennial budget. Beginning in 2015, Stephen will serve as Co-Director of the Sustainability in Prisons Project.

While Superintendent of Washington State Penitentiary, Stephen was instrumental in creating the Sustainable Practices Lab, a hugely successful experiment; three or four other Washington prisons are moving to follow his example. In his first year as Assistant Secretary of Prisons, Stephen has made sustainable operations a priority across the state. He was instrumental in creating WDOC’s first Sustainability Policy (see our Resources page). At every prison, he promoted formation of a sustainability team: a collaborative group of staff who share ideas and planning efforts and connect to other teams to problem solve and share best practices. Stephen serves as an inspiration for facility managers, working with them to identify actionable energy reductions strategies. He has been a champion for Roots of Success expansion statewide. Most recently, he has challenged us to add and improve programs to create a “Green Track” for inmates: an array of sustainability jobs and educational opportunities, so that incarcerated adults may build their green job skills and résumés while in prison.

As supervisor to all twelve prison superintendents, he has tremendous opportunity to shape the future of SPP’s work in Washington State and beyond. His energy and enthusiasm are an ideal fit for SPP.