An inspiring story from the Oregon State Penitentiary’s (OSP) Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) featuring adults in custody (AIC) Issac Agee and Michael Issac…
From one quiet, dimly lit, and isolated cell of Oregon’s only Death Row Unit, a little bird was born. This was no ordinary bird. It was an “Urban Bird” and although free of feathers and flight, it was full of hope, joy, patience, and gratitude. This is when the art of origami was introduced to one of Oregon State Penitentiary’s adults in custody.
Mission 22 published a challenge on social media asking for support through a fundraiser for their foundation. Their foundation’s focus is to provide various personalized resources to help Veterans and their families to thrive. Lt. Shelby Brown’s best friend, a veteran of the war in Iraq, is now a representative of the foundation and works at the branch in Bend. Lt. Brown is pursuing an opportunity to become an ambassador for the foundation.
Through the foundation’s Facebook page, there was a promotion for a fitness challenge to help bring awareness to the struggles of Veterans and their families and raise money for their foundation. The challenge was to have supporters donate money or challenge themselves to complete 2,200 push-ups to show their support of veterans lost or struggling, and the families affected by either, including the struggle to reacclimate to the home environment after being on duty for so long. Lt. Brown knew right away, she wanted to participate in this challenge, to show support for her best friend.
This article was written by the Oregon State Penitentiary’s Public Information Officer. With Memorial Day just around the corner, we thought this story was particularly inspirational and a good reminder of how we can remember the American service members we have lost.
In a time where uncertainty and unrest are at the forefront of society, and communities are struggling to maintain alignment and unity with one another, individuals are still pushing forward, adapting to challenges, and finding creative ways to stay connected. For those struggling with mental illness, this is a greater challenge. For our nation’s veterans, this is an act of survival.
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)
This article was written by Tonya Gushard, a Public Information Officer and employee at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem, Oregon. It has been edited for brevity and clarity.
Behind these walls we are one community. OUR community. The community we call the Oregon State Penitentiary.
Our community consists of over 350 employees, over 2,000 adults in our care and custody (AICs), and hundreds of volunteers and contractors. The Oregon Department of Corrections’ mission is to hold offenders accountable for their actions and reduce the risk of future criminal behavior, but it is our passion to create a safe and healthy environment, with the responsibility of creating better neighbors where positive and pro-social change occurs. A place where people will become healthy, productive, and contributing members of society.
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.