Two Rivers Celebrates Father’s Day with a Fishing Trip

On the Friday of Father’s Day weekend, a group of adults in custody (AICs) and fathers housed at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) celebrated the holiday in typical dad fashion: on a fishing trip with their kids. The trip was part of the department’s efforts to humanize and normalize the prison environment, a strategy known as the “Oregon Way.”

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The Oregon State Pen Rises to a 100-Mile Challenge to Stop Soldier Suicide

This article was written by the Oregon State Penitentiary’s Public Information Officer. With Memorial Day just around the corner, we thought this story was particularly inspirational and a good reminder of how we can remember the American service members we have lost.

The veteran memorial at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, OR

In a time where uncertainty and unrest are at the forefront of society, and communities are struggling to maintain alignment and unity with one another, individuals are still pushing forward, adapting to challenges, and finding creative ways to stay connected. For those struggling with mental illness, this is a greater challenge. For our nation’s veterans, this is an act of survival.

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Columbia River Keeps Reading Alive

From left to right Karen Sullivan, CRCI Legal Librarian, Eric Barker Multnomah County Library employee, and Geoff Brunk Multnomah County Library employee and ODOC volunteer extraordinaire.

Columbia River Correctional Institution (CRCI) is extremely proud of its relationship with the Multnomah County Library and The Library Foundation, which recently donated $9,000 worth of books to CRCI and Inverness Jail. The grant money is from the Every Child Initiative and was used to fund classes at CRCI such as “A Book is a Bridge.”

Pandemic restrictions in 2020 did not allow for volunteers to provide such classes, so the grant money could not be spent on books and supplies for the programs. However, the Library Foundation had to put the remaining grant money to good use, so it was decided 50 percent of the remaining funds will be used to supplement and replenish the institution’s General Library and 50 percent will go towards children’s books.

When visiting resumes, a table will be set up filled with children’s books and each child will be able to select a book to take home with them.

Art of Communication: Jerome’s Story

The Art of Communication is a program offered to qualifying adults in custody (AICs) at a number of Oregon Department of Corrections’ institutions across the state. Developed by Chaplain Trime Persinger at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI), the course teaches AICs how to build positive relationships and manage conflict situations through everyday conversations. This post is part of a series which aims to share the stories of AICs who have been impacted by the program.

Below, AIC Jerome Sloan explains how the program has changed his mindset. AIC Sloan shared his experience with Trime Persinger, who wrote it down as follows:

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Elf on the Shelf Visits Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution

To bring a little bit of Christmas spirit to adults in custody (AICs) at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI), staff from Correctional Rehabilitation helped launch a DOC-friendly version of Elf on the Shelf throughout the month of December.

Because the Elf does not have security clearance to actually enter the prison, he has sent in pictures of himself so AICs can experience some of the mischief Elf on the Shelf gets up to in the homes of American families. The pictures are printed and posted on the unit bulletin boards for all to see. While sharing some light-hearted frivolity around the institution, the project has also generated an interesting amount of conversation between the AICs and their children. Multiple AICs have approached the staff member who is running the project asking what is next for the Elf on the Shelf. Below are some of the photos Elf on the Shelf shared with EOCI.

AIC Shares a Seasonal Story About Working for OCE

Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE) Administrator Ken Jeske recently brought a tree into the OCE Administration office for staff to enjoy. When the office AIC worker Michael arrived for work, the two put up the tree and had quite the conversation. Ken asked Michael how long it had been since he put up and decorated a tree. We hope you enjoy his story:

AIC Buell stands next to the OCE Christmas tree

“My name is Michael Buell and I am currently an AIC at Santiam Correctional Institution (SCI). Having the opportunity to work for OCE has been a tremendous blessing. It gives me a sense of normalcy and purpose everyday which is extremely important to me. For example… When I came into work the other day, I noticed they had brought in this Christmas tree that you see in the picture. They showed me where the decorations were and asked if I wanted to set it up and decorate it. After struggling with burnt out strands of lights for a couple hours I finally got it all done, and the finished product is what you see here.

It occurred to me while I was decorating the tree, that the last time I had done something like this was over three years ago with my two daughters and it definitely brought back a lot of memories for me. Moments like that are special and you cannot put a price on them.

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Art of Communication: Reginald’s Story

The Art of Communication is a program offered to qualifying adults in custody (AICs) at a number of Oregon Department of Corrections’ institutions across the state. Developed by Chaplain Trime Persinger at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI), the course teaches AICs how to build positive relationships and manage conflict situations through everyday conversations. This post is part of a series which aims to share the stories of AICs who have been impacted by the program.

Below, AIC Reginald Johnson uses language taught in the program to help another AIC shift their perspective. AIC Johnson shared his experience with Trime Persinger, who wrote it down as follows:

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Coffee Creek AICs Make History Earning Distinguished Toastmasters Award

Two women housed at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) have become the only two incarcerated women in the nation to earn the Distinguished Toastmasters Award.  This is the highest individual honor you can achieve in Pathways, Toastmasters’ education program. For both Angela Kim and Carolyn Exum, this distinction was over seven years in the making, so we asked them to reflect on the experience in their own words. Read their stories below.

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Art of Communication: Juventino’s Story

The Art of Communication is a program offered to qualifying adults in custody (AICs) at a number of Oregon Department of Corrections’ institutions across the state. Developed by Chaplain Trime Persinger at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI), the course teaches AICs how to build positive relationships and manage conflict situations through everyday conversations. This post is part of a series which aims to share the stories of AICs who have been impacted by the program.

Below, AIC Juventino Santibanez-Castro uses the tools he learned in the program to react differently in a tense situation. AIC Santibanez-Castro shared his experience with Trime Persinger, who wrote it down as follows:

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Art of Communication: Ronnie’s Story

The Art of Communication is a program offered to qualifying adults in custody (AICs) at a number of Oregon Department of Corrections’ institutions across the state. Developed by Chaplain Trime Persinger at Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI), the course teaches AICs how to build positive relationships and manage conflict situations through everyday conversations. This post is the first in a series which aims to share the stories of AICs who have been impacted by the program.

Continue reading “Art of Communication: Ronnie’s Story”