Workload Assessment for Community Corrections Staffing for Washington State Department of Corrections


Tuesday, February 27, 2024
8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Session Type: Workshop

In 2021, the Washington State Department of Corrections (WADOC) contracted with Westat, Inc. to conduct an updated, full-scale workload assessment of staff members who carry out the responsibilities of the Community Corrections Division (CCD). The workload assessment was comprehensive in that it included case management staff---community corrections officers, field supervisors and support staff---along with staff in specialized units and that it involved multiple stages of research. Data were collected over a 4-week period from 322 staff who were selected to participate, yielding documentation of over 48,000 individual activities. This workshop will describe the background of the workload assessment, findings from the research, and the practical and policy implications. Notably, the study informed the staffing needs for the implementation of an advanced supervision model. In addition, workshop attendees will undergo a training exercise to learn how the documentation of workload activities occurs as part of these assessments.


Donta Harper
Northwest Region Administrator, WA State Dept of Corrections

Donta Harper, Ed.D. has served as the East Region Administrator in the Community Corrections Division for the Washington State Department of Corrections since 2014. He has been with the department for 24 years, starting his career as a correctional officer and held other various roles as well. In addition, since 2015, he has served as a member on the Washington State Public Safety Review Panel. Prior to beginning his career with the department, Dr. Harper served in the United States Navy as a Tele-communicator. He also has teaching experience as a lecturer with the University of Washington at Tacoma. He has an Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University.

Nathan Lowe, PhD
Senior Research Associate, Child Welfare & Justice, Westat

Nathan Lowe, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Associate at Westat, Inc. with 20 years of combined experience as a justice system practitioner, non-profit program director and applied researcher in criminology and criminal justice primarily using quasi-experimental designs. He previously worked for the American Probation and Parole Association overseeing the grants program and managing the implementation of the Impaired Driving Assessment. His current research relates to workload evaluations and organizational culture of correctional staff, official surveys with justice populations, access to justice in court systems, and interpersonal violence among young adults. Dr. Lowe also has experience in providing training and technical assistance on justice related issues and managing large-scale projects funded by the federal government. His expertise includes risk assessment for justice-involved clients, effective community supervision practices, impact and outcome evaluation of justice policy, organizational culture, race and justice issues, and empirical tests of general strain theory to explain crime across various offender trajectories. Dr. Lowe has conducted numerous reports, briefs and presentations (online and in-person) on his research to various audiences over the years. He obtained his Ph.D. in Sociology with concentrations in Crime, Law & Deviance and Social Inequalities from the University of Kentucky.

Mr. Mac Pevey
Assistant Secretary, WA State Dept of Corrections

Mac began his career with the Washington State Department of Corrections on June 1, 1999 as Community Corrections Officer in Port Orchard. He has promoted through the ranks in the Community Corrections Division (CCD), serving as a Community Corrections Supervisor in Seattle and Kent/Federal Way, Electronic Monitoring Program Administrator, Field Administrator for Pierce/Kitsap counties and as a Regional Administrator for the East. Today, Mac serves as the Assistant Secretary for CCD, a role that he has been in since 2017. Mac has his Bachelor of Criminal Justice from Seattle University and his Masters of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Washington State University. Additionally, he is a graduate of the National Institute of Corrections' Executive Excellence Program (2015), recipient of the Secretary's Leadership Award (2013), WSU Distinguished Professional Achievement Award for Criminal Justice and Criminology (2018), and most recently the recipient of the Seattle University Advisory Committee of the Year – Innovation in Criminal Justice Education Award (2022). Mac has also served as an adjunct professor of criminal justice at Seattle University since 2004 and is an inaugural member of their Criminal Justice Advisory Board.

Kristine Skipworth
Regional Administrator, WA State Dept of Corrections

Kristine M. Skipworth is a 1990 graduate of Gonzaga University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice. While in college she was employed with the Spokane County Juvenile Court as a Juvenile Probation Officer Intern and as a Juvenile Corrections Officer at the Juvenile Detention facility. Upon graduation from college she obtained employment with Echo Glen Children’s Center and was one of two female juvenile security guards working in a maximum security unit. 30 years ago, in 1993, she was hired by the Department of Corrections where she began her career as a Community Corrections Officer 2 in the Burien Field Office. She worked in partnership with local law enforcement and was integral in the establishment of SMART partnerships with various King County Sheriffs agencies. She was later promoted to a CCO3. During her tenure as a CCO3, she was invited to participate in a legislative workgroup to write and provide critical review of draft legislation and feedback as to content and effect of the proposed Drug Offender Sentence Alternative (DOSA) legislation prior to it becoming a law. At the conclusion of this committee she was offered a position of Legislative Program Manager with the Departments Chemical Dependency unit and was responsible to establish policy, manage and implement the Drug Offender Sentence Alternative (DOSA) legislation for the Department. Since this time she has held various Community Corrections Supervisor positions to include Work Release and Field units in King and Pierce County. Kristine was hired as the Section 4 Field Administrator (FA) in DOC’s Community Corrections Division for all of Pierce County, overseeing 12 Units, 1 Work Crew, and the Western Region Transport Team with a combined total of 143 staff. For the past 7 years, Kristine has been working as the Community Corrections Division, Regional Administrator for Eastern Washington. In this role she is responsible for all operational, policy and staff within Community Corrections in Eastern Washington. She is also responsible for the supervision and oversight of the Graduate Reentry Program, the Parenting Sentencing Alternative program and is the Executive Sponsor/Program lead for the agencies most recent supervision initiative Individualized Community Oriented Accountability Collaborative Help (iCoach). Kristine has been married for