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.

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OSP’s First Spanish “Art of Communications” Grads

Oregon State Penitentiary graduated it’s first Spanish Art of Communication class! Art of Communication is a 10 week course created by Chaplain Persinger at SRCI. Students learn skills on how to actively listen and speak effectively. The skills are then used to build positive relationships and resolve conflicts when they occur. (Articulo en español abajo)

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Coffee Creek’s Life-changing Cosmetology Program

Coffee Creek Correctional Facility’s (CCCF) cosmetology program is about more than manicures and dye jobs. For many of the women incarcerated at CCCF, the program is the first step in making a better life for themselves. Whether they are training in the Hair Design program or having tattoos removed that remind them of a painful past, the program offers hope for a brighter future.

The messages below were submitted by three adults in custody (AICs) at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility who have experience with the cosmetology program. They have been edited for clarity by the Oregon DOC Office of Communications.

AIC Sarah Erickson, Advanced Aesthetics student
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Eastern Oregon Congratulates Peer Recovery Graduates

On June 18, six adults in custody (AICs) at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) graduated as Opioid Peer Recovery Coaches.

The program is designed to have peer coaches who can help other adults in custody who suffer with opioid and other addictions learn the skills needed to transition successfully to the community while recognizing and overcoming their addiction.

Back row, from left – Levon Lord, Joseph Smallwood, Kyron Trevino, Program Director Ricardo Olalde, Keaton Stephens, Jason Mortenson and Saige Decker.

Front Row, from left – Contractor Chaela Manning, Communicable and Chronic Disease Intervention Coordinator Ann Chakwin, and Contractor Star Powell.

Congratulations graduates!!

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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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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Turning Tassels at Santiam Correctional Institution

Sixteen adults in custody at Santiam Correctional Institution (SCI) received their GED degrees today as part of the facility’s winter graduation commencement ceremony. The GED program is made possible through a partnership with Chemeketa Community College’s Corrections Education department.

Adults in custody stand in cap in gown at the recent commencement ceremony

Jordan Bermingham, Director of Corrections Education at Chemeketa, spoke to the graduates, along with Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) facilitators, tutors, and students. Chemeketa enrolls between 200 and 350 students in English as a Second Language (ESL), Adult Basic Education (ABE), and the GED programs – not only at SCI but also at the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP), and Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI).

Chemeketa provides additional education opportunities to around 125 adults in custody. The programs include an Associate of Arts Oregon Transfer Degree, an Automatic Technology degree, and a CAD certification.

This incredible opportunity gives adults in custody the opportunity to teach as well as learn! The GED program is taught by inmate tutors and instruction is provided in both one-on-one settings and in groups, with a class size average of 15 students. Education Coordinators work with the tutors to develop curriculum.

Congratulations to the graduates!