Sen. Jeannie Darneille resigns from the legislature to head the women’s prisons division


Senator Jeannie Darneille has submitted her resignation from the Washington state legislature after more than two decades of service. The announcement came this morning. Senator Darneille will be leaving this fall, although the exact date is not yet known.

It is difficult to define when someone becomes an “institution”. Is it the term of office, the number of bills funded or the impact they have on state politics? Whatever metrics you use, Sen. Jeannie Darneille is certainly one such institution.

Senator Darneille has advocated social justice issues since he was first elected to represent the 27th Legislative District in 2000. She chairs the Senate Committee on Human Services, Reintegration, and Rehabilitation and has sponsored legislation on topics ranging from social security and improving child welfare to reforming juvenile justice and the criminal justice system.

Senator Darneille has been appointed Assistant Secretary of the Department of Women’s Prisons of the State Department of Prisons. In this role, she will focus on developing gender equitable programs for women incarcerated at the Washington Corrections Center for Women and Mission Creek Corrections Center for Women.

“I am humble at this rare opportunity to turn vision into reality,” said Senator Darneille. “This is a unique opportunity to implement the reforms and policies I have worked hard to adopt, and I am honored to be now in a progressive role in improving conditions and programs for women under the care and custody of our State Department in Corrections.”

Prior to joining the legislature, Sen. Darneille worked in college administration for three decades, running nonprofits that provide social services. When she ran for office in 2000, she was the Executive Director of the Pierce County AIDS Foundation.

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