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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Snake River Celebrates Father’s Day

Enjoying a beautiful day with family at the Father’s Day event

Over the weekend, the Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) minimum facility hosted a Father’s Day event where adults in custody (AICs) could wear regular clothes while celebrating the day with friends and family. Snake River had five AICs and fifteen visitors participate in the event, which was combined with a luncheon.

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Native American Spring Celebration at Coffee Creek

Spring Celebration is a First Foods ceremony held by every tribe in the Plateau region. The four sacred foods—salmon, deer meat, roots, and berries—are gathered and prepared traditionally using ancient teachings, songs, and prayer.   

These four foods are high in nutritional value and were the main staple foods of the Native American diet. This ceremony is about renewing the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional self. It is a time of forgiveness and gratitude for Native American people in the region, including Native American adults in custody (AICs) at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF).

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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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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.