Toastmasters Club to Host 2024 Anti-Crime Summit Inside the Oregon State Penitentiary

Capital Toastmasters, a Presidents Distinguished Toastmasters International Club within the confines of the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP), announced plans to hold the inaugural OSP Anti-Crime Summit. The 6-hour Summit will be comprised of up to 200 individuals representing a cross-section of Oregon’s key community leaders.

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The Spirit of Giving

Volunteer Work Crew

Every year, the Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) work crew selflessly dedicates their time to bring the spirit of the season to life at the Four Rivers Cultural Center. This dedicated group of adults in custody (AICs) volunteers for the Malheur Council on Aging and the Festival of Trees, transforming the cultural center into a magical holiday display.

The heartwarming holiday fundraiser they contribute to supports vital causes – Meals on Wheels & Help Them to Hope. The AICs don’t just lend a hand; they haul decorations, set up trees, string lights, build playhouses for the auction, and coordinate other merchandise for fundraising efforts.

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7th Step Foundation Hosts: OSP Fair Chance Career Fair

Recently, the 7th Step Foundation, out of Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP) hosted around 20 outside employers and resource providers for their “OSP Fair Chance Career Fair.” The 7th Step Foundation is an adult in custody (AIC) run club with a mission to provide information and resources to bring about positive change. Their mission is supported by the following four pillars: Education, Career, Transformational Healing, and Leadership.

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Lifers’ Unlimited Club: Arisen From Ashes

In the annals of Oregon’s prison history, the year 1968 stands as a somber reminder of one of the most violent and destructive days within the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP). The OSP Riot of 1968 scarred the institution, leaving one prisoner dead, numerous injured, staff held hostage, and the penitentiary grounds engulfed in flames. Yet, from the ashes of this calamity emerged an unexpected glimmer of hope and transformation, embodied in the creation of the Lifers’ Unlimited Club (LUC).

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A Special Graduation and Passing of the Leash Ceremony at EOCI

Earlier this month, a heartwarming and transformative event took place at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI). It marked the fifth Joys of Living Assistance Dogs (JLAD) program graduation and passing of the leash ceremony. AICs, EOCI staff, JLAD volunteers, and the fortunate recipients of these exceptional service animals attended the momentous occasion.

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Eggs to Fry: A Journey of Education and Hope at OSCI

In a remarkable collaboration, the Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI) has partnered with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to bring the “Eggs to Fry” program to life. This initiative marks a unique opportunity for both adults in custody (AIC) and staff to engage with nature, learn about the fascinating life cycle of salmon, and contribute to a meaningful cause.

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CrossFit Games at Two Rivers

The first CrossFit Games at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) were met with a high level of intensity. The participants pushed themselves to their physical and mental limits in the 100-degree heat. The course began with a quick Rogue Fan bike ride, then transitioned to burpee pull-ups. The course then moved to the weight section, which included clean and press, dead press, and thrusters. The next section incorporated TRCI’s one and only row machine, followed by medicine ball squats, bear crawls, and finishing with another Rogue Fan bike ride.

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Adopt-A-Highway Journey at South Fork Forest Camp

SFFC Work Crew

South Fork Forest Camp started their Adopt-A-Highway Journey with a small 2.25 mile section of HWY 6. The adults in custody (AIC) would walk both sides of the highway, cleaning up litter. Not only did they take on cleaning up the litter as a challenging pursuit, but they also found the work very rewarding after seeing the impact of their efforts.

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) noticed the litter cleanup efforts and the impacts it had on the section of the highway and agreed to allow the AIC crews to take on cleaning up the majority of HWY 6 – which is approximately 52 miles long. The AICs would walk roughly 10 miles per day! One day of picking trash, resulted in filling up a 10-yard dumpster with debris.

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Family First Summer Event

The Family First Club at Oregon State Correctional Institution hosted their annual family barbecue event on Saturday, August 26, 2023.  The club members and their families look forward to this event all year long. There is nothing quite like hanging out in the sun enjoying fun activities, good food, and time with family.

Families enjoyed a variety of activities ranging from family badminton to a bucket brigade race as well as participating in annual scavenger hunt, just to name a few. Fathers watched as their children bounced with glee from one wall to the next in the bouncy house. The squeals and laughter of children could be heard above all the festivities.

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Art of Communication: Manuel’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 Manuel Arellano explains how the program has changed his mindset. AIC Arellano shared his experience with Trime Persinger, who wrote it down as follows:

A lot of times I’m very apprehensive to share my stories because I’m conscious of what the other person will think of me. That makes me shy to express these things from my past but if it will help someone it’s OK.

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