Art of Communication: Alberto’s Story

Alberto Rodrigues-Ramirez

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 Alberto Rodriguez-Ramirez uses the tools he learned in the program to demonstrate his patience and understanding. AIC Rodriguez-Ramirez shared his experience with Trime Persinger, who wrote it down as follows:

When I fell, my daughters were seven and eight. They didn’t speak to me for eight years. I sent letters and cards but didn’t receive anything back from them.

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South Fork Forest Camp’s Main Benefit is Hope – But Firefighting, Forestry Projects, and Raising Fish Help All Oregonians

TILLAMOOK STATE FOREST, Ore.—More than 46,000 steelhead trout gush out of the rearing pond and into Tuffy Creek at South Fork Forest Camp on an unusual snowy day in April. After being confined to the pond for seven months, the three-to-five-inch fish now face a challenging journey — much like the people who raised them.

“This camp is the only one of its kind in Oregon,” said Dave Luttrell, South Fork camp manager. “We are a minimum-security facility run jointly by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and the Department of Corrections (DOC)—we house up to 200 adults in custody.” 

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A PhD From Prison – By Eric Burnham

Eric Burnham

For over 20 years now, I have been inmate # 12729124, but my name is Eric. I am serving a 25-to-life sentence for second-degree murder. On September 5, 2001 I took a man’s life during a fight that I started while drunk, creating a ripple effect of pain and suffering that damaged countless lives. I take full responsibility for how my violence harmed others, and early in my prison sentence I made the decision to do something about it, although back then I didn’t know what.

When I was arrested, I was 21-years-old, staggeringly narcissistic, addicted to alcohol, marijuana, and methamphetamines, lost behind the mask I used to hide my shortcomings, and profoundly undereducated–I didn’t even have a GED. I acted out in ways I thought would effectively conceal my insecurities, and I pretended to be someone I am not.

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Art of Communication: Danny’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 Danny White explains how the program helped him work through a conflict. AIC White shared his experience with Trime Persinger, who wrote it down as follows:

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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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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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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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Oregon Corrections Enterprises Collaborates with University

University of Oregon students and staff tour the OCE garment shop at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution

Last year, Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE) and the University of Oregon (UO) created a joint venture to connect design students with adults in custody at the Oregon State Penitentiary and Two Rivers Correctional Institution, with the goal of exploring furniture design and creating prototypes. Through a friendly competition, OCE awarded scholarships to the winning UO teams, and the project was featured at a furniture design show in New York City.

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Shutter Creek Forestry Crews Tackle Storm Debris

Adults in custody clean up after storms in Douglas County

Adult in custody (AIC) forestry crews out of Shutter Creek Correctional Institution recently helped re-open roadways to local residents after storm debris blocked travel. In just three days, these crews cleared and opened approximately 75 miles of state and country roads, including Highway 38 and 138 – a huge accomplishment!

The debris had left residents in the Scottsburg and Ash Valley areas unable to travel in and out of their own homes. In the image above, AICs on Lutsinger Road in Scottsburg were able to clear the road for about 15 homes that were blocked off.

The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) coordinated with the Oregon Department of Public Transportation (ODOT), Doublad County Public Works Department, and the Coos Forest Protective Association to make this clean-up happen.