Correctional Camps Program

correctional camp crew builds bridge
Working jointly with the Department of Corrections (DOC), DNR operates correctional camp crews out of three adult correctional facilities. Adult incarcerated individuals volunteer as crew members for the program. DNR Camp Managers work with DOC counselors to approve each individual's acceptance into the program based on their behavior and record.
​Offender honor camps, as they used to be called, have been providing cost-efficient support for state lands since 1943. The program helps incarcerated individuals avoid idleness while providing cost-effective work on state and other public lands.

How can correctional camp crews help you?

Year-round, crews perform a variety of forestry-related projects, such as trail construction and maintenance, noxious weed removal, tree planting, fuel reduction, illegal dump site cleanup and much more. The program provides a work force of over 250 crew members (24+ crews of 10 incarcerated crew members) and their supervisors across the state. As a result, incarcerated individuals develop the skills necessary to work in paying jobs after their release and break the cycle of recidivism.
If issues arise, DNR may dismiss an incarcerated individual from the program at any time.

Program Benefits to the Incarcerated Crew Members

The program teaches positive work habits, develops job skills, and allows incarcerated crew members to experience the sense of pride that comes from working hard and accomplishing something of value. As they work, the crew members are able to earn a small gratuity to help support them while incarcerated and upon release, including repaying restitution. One of the most tangible benefits is that DNR is working with DOC research and development to compare the program with overall recidivism rate to show that program participants are less likely to reoffend.


Experienced DNR Forest Crew Supervisors oversee the 10-person crews as they work on different positions in wildfire suppression, including initial attack, digging handlines, mop up/putting out hot spots and mobile kitchen operations. Once the crews return to fire camp or their home camp, DOC Officers and Superintendents supervise the crew members. Prior to fire season, incarcerated crew members receive wildland firefighter training to the standards of the National Wildfire Coordinating Group Firefighter 2 level. The certificates of completion can be used by the crew members upon release to gain employment with contract fire crews, DNR, or a local fire service.

Correctional Camps

Each Correctional Camp is a minimum- to medium-security facility:

Transitional Crew/Arcadia 20 Hand Crew

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) created a Transitional Wildland Fire Crew located in Spokane Washington, housed at Brownstone Reentry Center, and is referred to as the DNR Arcadia 20-man Hand Crew (DNR ARC-20). This collaboration is a direct result of the passing and funding of HB1168 in 2022. This house bill provides for cooperation between DNR and the Department of Corrections (DOC) to expand on existing program opportunities and allows for adding additional wildfire personnel.  
DNR Camp Forestry Workers begin their career at one of the three DNR camp facilities: Airway Heights, Cedar Creek, and Olympic Corrections Centers. During this time, Forestry Workers complete the Wildland Fire Academy which is facilitated by DNR. This course curriculum is from the National Wildfire Coordination Group (NWCG) and is nationally recognized. This training ensures all Forestry Workers are properly certified by DNR to conduct wildfire suppression safely and effectively. 
After continued training and development in forestry work and wildfire suppression, a candidate may get recommended to the DNR Transition Crew by their DNR camp manager. This recommendation is based upon work ethic, experience, dedication, positive behavior, and the willingness to pursue a career with DNR. Once the candidate is properly screened and approved for placement by their classification counselor and the recommended reentry center, the candidate is offered an interview by DNR’s hiring authorities. If the candidate passes the interview panel, they are offered an employment opportunity on the DNR Arcadia 20-man Hand Crew.

DNR Partners