Center on Sentencing and Corrections

Maximum Opportunity

Ryan Quirk, Ph.D. at TEDx Monroe Correctional Complex

Maximum Opportunity

TEDx Talks. “Maximum Opportunity: Ryan Quirk, Ph.D. at TEDxMonroeCorrectionalComplex.” April 9, 2014.


This video TEDx Talk discusses maximum-security units in Washington state.

“Maximum security units have long been places of containment. With the majority of the offenders housed in maximum custody one day releasing to the community, there is both a need and an opportunity to provide therapeutic programming. The Washington State Department of Corrections is currently offering such programming in a manner that demonstrates that safety and security need not be compromised.

Ryan Quirk, Ph.D. is a psychologist who has worked with the Washington State Department of Corrections since 2009. He is the supervising psychologist for the maximum custody units located in the Monroe Correctional Complex. In the units, Ryan works with a multidisciplinary team to provide programming and other opportunities to offenders in an effort to decrease recidivism. Such interventions are also designed to assist in offender transition to less-restrictive settings, including the community. It is his hope that individuals pursuing a career as a mental health professional will consider working in the field of corrections.”


Click here to view the video.


Keywords: mental health, mental illness, supermax, super-max, solitary confinement, segregated housing, the hole, prison staff, correctional officers, jail staff, therapy, programming, secure programming