Two Rivers Metal Shop

The metal shop housed at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) offers a unique opportunity for adults in custody to learn the trade of welding and provide them with skills for a career upon their release. Former AICs who worked in the metal shop are now gainfully employed welders, working for reputable companies. Currently, there are seven AICs who have the coveted positions working inside the metal shop.

The most common projects fabricated in the metal shop are items like benches, tables, carts, and kitchen equipment. These items are put to use within the institution. Beyond the products fabricated for institution use, are items like firepits, stoves, gates, and signs.

Inside the metal shop, AICs can earn certifications in welding giving them the opportunity to be gainfully employed in iron work, heavy equipment manufacturing, metal fabrication, shipyards, and other manufacturing industries. It also provides an opportunity for a creative expression while learning the trade of welding.

Andrew Smith has been the shop coordinator at TRCI for 12 years, and really enjoys working with AICs, and providing them with a roadmap for a successful future outside prison. AIC Jarrod Pardun, one of the program participants, shared an analogy about learning welding: it’s like a haircut “You can always fix a mistake when welding, like you can fix a bad haircut – it might not be perfect, but it won’t be as messed up as it was in the beginning”.

From left to right: Thomas Urvina, Jarrod Pardun, Toby Cox,
Kevin Luna-Gonzales, James Jones, and John Mahone

Two Rivers Hosts Injustice 2 Tournament

Injustice 2 tournament winner Alexander Tanguy

Two Rivers Correctional Institution’s incentive unit PS4 video game tournaments has been a huge hit! The Paradigm Shift Club (PSC) hosted another video game tournament this year (first was Madden 23) but the Injustice 2 tournament received significantly more interest than the previous event.

The initial bracket is generated for each incentive unit where AICs play their on-unit tournament to determine an overall unit winner. The winner from each unit then plays in the final event against all eight housing units including the Minimum facility.

The video game tournaments are popular amongst the population because it reminds many AICs of their life before prison as many are lifelong gamers. Gaming has become a pastime and favorite activity within prison as well. The game tournaments offer AICs a platform to compete and put their skills on display for the institution.

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The Wall of Inspiration

Brandon Burge

The concept was born from Brandon Burge, a Paradigm Shift Club (PSC) member who has been corresponding with celebrities and pop culture icons during his prison sentence, requesting photos, words of inspiration, and signed memorabilia. Surprisingly, Brandon has received immense support and positive feedback as his collection includes magicians, sports stars, actors, and comedians to name a few.

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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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