McNeil Island Stewardship


McNeil Island is an island in the south Puget Sound, located southwest of Tacoma, Washington. The McNeil Island Stewardship (MIS) program provides jobs skills to incarcerated workers while providing the maintenance and preservation necessary for the State to remain in compliance with the federal deed for McNeil Island. These workers travel daily to the work site from Cedar Creek Corrections Center. The island remains the home of two state operational facilities—the Special Commitment Center and the Pierce County Secure Community Transition Facility.

Grounds Maintenance

Incarcerated workers perform general grounds and building maintenance activities here that can include light plumbing, HVAC, and light building repairs. Also, vegetation overgrowth and maintenance work are completed. Duties such as snow/ice preparation and removal work are added during periods of inclement weather. Workers can earn certificates of proficiency with State-recognized apprenticeship hours into general labor apprenticeships, which applies towards worker's State verified work experience not connected to the department of corrections and solely on their name and work experience.


The marine department operates three passenger ferries, and a contracted tugboat/barge system for transporting vehicles and supplies to and from the island.  Incarcerated workers assigned to the marine department perform repairs and maintenance on the ferries, barges, and marine docking facilities, during which they can earn certificates of proficiency to assist in their reentry efforts.  All incarcerated individuals receive training in health and safety programs such as OSHA.

Vehicle Maintenance

The fully functional vehicle maintenance and repair shop provides preventative maintenance and repairs to all island vehicles and heavy equipment for the stakeholders on McNeil Island. The assigned incarcerated workers can earn certificates of proficiency through two different options. First, the shop time is log-able college credits with online work done as they return to their facility. The second option utilizes a trade school syllabus and tracking for all shop hours to test out of the program before release. Either path gives them shop experience with a wide variety of tools and equipment and the most up-to-date coursework while having state-recognized work hours.

Waste Water/Water Distribution

The wastewater treatment plant serves an island capacity of 1,000 persons and is setup as a work-study program where the State provides incarcerated individuals the ability to perform on-the-job training hours to gain credits for certification in wastewater. The trainees are responsible for studying the Sacramento State College wastewater training program on their own time. This nationally certified college training program teaches the basics of wastewater treatment processes and how those processes protect public and environmental health. Course work teaches how to operate the treatment plant safely and effectively, conduct testing, operate all plant equipment, and monitor lagoon systems.

Water Treatment Plant

The water treatment plant provides fresh drinking water for McNeil Island by treating the surface source water from the island reservoir, which produces approximately 200,000 gallons of potable water per day. Incarcerated workers earn certificated hours towards a water treatment plant accreditation that include subjects such as water sample testing, raw water to potable water treatment, chemical treatment, familiarity with prints and drawings for distribution line purposes.

© 2024 Washington State Department of Corrections — Correctional Industries