Out of the Darkness at OSCI

Like many of our facilities, Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI) recently partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to host their first Out of the Darkness walk, working to prevent and foster awareness around suicide. The walk provided OSCI’s adults in custody (AICs) and employees a space to discuss their experiences, express their grief, and learn about warning signs and prevention efforts.

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Powder River Walks for Suicide Prevention

Participants wore signs representing their motivation for walking in the event.

On June 28, Powder River Correctional Facility (PRCF) in Baker City held its very first Suicide Prevention Walk. Around 150 people participated in the walk, including adults in custody (AICs), institution staff, and contractors. Considering that Powder River is a fairly small facility, this is an incredible turnout!

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Snake River Celebrates Father’s Day

Enjoying a beautiful day with family at the Father’s Day event

Over the weekend, the Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) minimum facility hosted a Father’s Day event where adults in custody (AICs) could wear regular clothes while celebrating the day with friends and family. Snake River had five AICs and fifteen visitors participate in the event, which was combined with a luncheon.

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Coffee Creek and OCE Recognize Outstanding Agent

On June 12, adult in custody (AIC) Niya Sosa-Martinez received the STAR award for her outstanding work at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility’s (CCCF) DMV call center. The STAR (Star to Agent Recognition) award is given quarterly to an AIC who demonstrates excellent interpersonal skills, leadership, and initiative; and goes above and beyond the standard. AIC Sosa-Martinez was nominated and voted on by her peers, other phone agents at the DMV call center, and enjoyed a commendation and luncheon with Superintendent Paula Myers, Section Manager Connie Crapser, and Center Manager Tammy Matthews.

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AIC Spotlight: Art Inside Out

Adult in custody (AIC) Kirk Charlton has published several children’s books that he wrote and illustrated during his incarceration at the Oregon Department of Corrections. His books are part of a series called “I WANNABE.” Each book depicts stories about kids from all cultures and backgrounds who are fascinated with different career opportunities. Being part-Hawaiian, AIC Charlton shared that diverse representation in children’s literature is important to him. The stories are informative, inspirational, and describe different careers and hobbies in detail. AIC Charlton believes his books can make a difference in how children experience the world.

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Santiam Correctional Institution walks “Out of the Darkness”

AIC Pedro Perez speaks to SCI’s “Out of the Darkness” attendees as Dan Bielenberg, Shea May, and Ryan Price look on.

In early 2017, Santiam Correctional Institution (SCI) committed to build a partnership with AFSP in an effort to educate and assist with funding and research to reduce suicide in correctional settings. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) has been a leader in research and reduction of Suicide in the United States since 1987.  Thanks to this partnership, SCI was the first correctional facility in the nation to host such a suicide prevention walk!

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Native American Spring Celebration at Coffee Creek

Spring Celebration is a First Foods ceremony held by every tribe in the Plateau region. The four sacred foods—salmon, deer meat, roots, and berries—are gathered and prepared traditionally using ancient teachings, songs, and prayer.   

These four foods are high in nutritional value and were the main staple foods of the Native American diet. This ceremony is about renewing the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional self. It is a time of forgiveness and gratitude for Native American people in the region, including Native American adults in custody (AICs) at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF).

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Shutter Creek Dog Graduates from JLAD

Adult in custody trainers pose with SCCI dogs

Last Saturday, Joys of Living Assistance Dogs (JLAD) held a graduation ceremony for dogs who have completed the program and were being officially placed with their recipients.  Shutter Creek Correctional Institution (SCCI) was beyond excited to have Saber, one of the institution’s first JLAD dogs, as part of the graduating class. Saber worked with SCCI off and on over the past year and has now been placed with a young family and will be providing support to the mom in that family. You can follow JLAD on Facebook to see more pictures of the ceremony and updates on what the dogs do in their off weeks from SCCI.

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GED Graduates Recognized at Columbia River Ceremony

On April 24, 14 adults in custody (AICs) walked in Columbia River Correctional Institution’s (CRCI) spring GED graduation ceremony. Chief of Security and Interim Superintendent Joe DeCamp spoke to the graduates. CRCI has graduated 30 GED students this year so far, which is a fantastic accomplishment considering it’s one of Oregon’s smaller facilities.

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Coffee Creek Puppy is a True Lifesaver

Many of Oregon Department of Corrections’ (DOC) 14 institutions have dog training programs. DOC partners with local organizations to house, raise, and train puppies and dogs–sometime to give them a better chance at adoption, and sometimes to prepare the dogs for work as assistance animals. At Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF), the prison partners with Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) to train puppies who will then provide independence to a person with a disability.

These dog programs not only benefit the puppies, but the adults in custody (AICs) who work with the animals. In the case of CCCF, AICs train the puppies onsite for approximately 18 months before they move on to more expanded training. Recently, a woman who was matched with a canine companion who was trained at Coffee Creek shared this amazing story…

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