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News Releases
Oregon Department of Corrections Receives a National Innovation Award - 06/20/18

The National Institute for Governmental Purchasing or, NIGP: Institute for Public Procurement, represents over 3,000 member agencies and 15,000 procurement professionals around the world and has recently selected the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) to receive the 2018 NIGP Innovation Award. DOC Procurement and Contracts employees, Matt Shoemaker and Craig Heilman, created an easy-to-use Microsoft Excel tool that now enables the Department to save countless hours and reduce errors when staff are completing contract documents.

Public Works Public Improvement contracts typically have between eight and nine required documents to complete a solicitation. Historically, these documents have been recreated for each individual project, which increases the potential for human errors and missing information; this can create unintentional and unnecessary time and cost burdens. The DOC team automated the entire process by combining the documents into a single file allowing them to complete one Excel tab which then fills out each of the required forms of approximately 50 total pages. DOC has now seismically shifted a fiscally-dependent procedure that used to take many hours, to managing this complicated process in less than one hour. 

The Innovation Award is one of NIGP’s most prestigious achievements, recognizing DOC’s innovative approach to solving modern problems. NIGP’s Knowledge and Management Committee was fascinated by DOC’s innovative approach to improving internal processes.

Mr. Shoemaker, a Procurement and Contracts Specialist, will accept the award and speak on the topic at the annual forum in Nashville, TN in August.   

DOC employs 4,700 staff members at 14 institutions, two community corrections offices, and several centralized support facilities throughout the state. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of over 14,700 adults sentenced to more than 12 months of incarceration, and direct or indirect supervision of 33,000 offenders on felony supervision in the community. DOC is recognized nationally among correctional agencies for providing adults in custody with the cognitive, education, and job skills needed to become productive citizens when they transition back to their communities.

Anselmo Salinas
Anselmo Salinas
Two Rivers Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo) - 06/12/18

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Anselmo Salinas, died on the afternoon of June 10, 2018. He was incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution and passed away at a local medical facility. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death.

Salinas entered DOC custody on February 8, 2018 from Yamhill County.  His earliest release date was June 27, 2021. He was 85 years old.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,700 men and women who are incarcerated in the 14 institutions across the state.

Next of kin has been notified.  No other details are available at this time.

TRCI is a multi-custody prison in Umatilla that houses approximately 1,800 male inmates. TRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including institution and industrial laundry, mattress manufacturing, and sewing. Other institutional work programs include reparation and cleaning of irrigation ditches, maintenance of local baseball fields, and work with local cities and the Hermiston School District. The facility provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, religious services, and behavioral health services. TRCI opened in 2000.

Attached Media Files: Anselmo Salinas
Oregon Department of Corrections Adjusting Operations for Water Advisory - 06/06/18

City of Salem officials announced on June 6 they were re-issuing a public advisory regarding the water supply from Detroit Lake.

The Department of Corrections (DOC) Salem area institutions (Oregon State Penitentiary, Mill Creek Correctional Facility, Santiam Correctional Institution, and Oregon State Correctional Institution) will be implementing protocols based on the Oregon Health Authority’s guidelines. We are communicating with the adults in custody (AICs) at the affected institutions. AICs with compromised immune systems are being provided bottled water. The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) Health Services staff will be available for any AICs who may be experiencing any symptoms related to the water contamination.

DOC employs 4,700 staff members at 14 institutions, two community corrections offices, and several centralized support facilities throughout the state. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of over 14,700 adults sentenced to more than 12 months of incarceration, and direct or indirect supervision of 31,000 offenders on felony supervision in the community. DOC is recognized nationally among correctional agencies for providing adults in custody with the cognitive, education, and job skills needed to become productive citizens when they transition back to their communities.

Oregon Department of Corrections Returning to Normal Operations - 06/04/18

City of Salem officials announced on June 2 they were lifting the public advisory regarding the water supply from Detroit Lake.

The Department of Corrections (DOC) Salem area institutions and office buildings are in the process of completing the process of flushing water lines and sanitizing equipment based on Oregon Health Authority guidelines. The Oregon State Penitentiary, Oregon State Correctional Institution, Mill Creek Correctional Facility, and Santiam Correctional Institution will return to normal operations once they have completed this process.

The City of Wilsonville notified residents this afternoon there are no detectable levels of toxins in the water based on the latest test results. With this new information, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) in Wilsonville will be flushing water lines and sanitizing equipment based on Oregon Health Authority guidelines and returning to normal operations.

DOC employs 4,700 staff members at 14 institutions, two community corrections offices, and several centralized support facilities throughout the state. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of over 14,700 adults sentenced to more than 12 months of incarceration, and direct or indirect supervision of 31,000 offenders on felony supervision in the community. DOC is recognized nationally among correctional agencies for providing adults in custody with the cognitive, education, and job skills needed to become productive citizens when they transition back to their communities.

Oregon Department of Corrections is Managing Low Level Water Contamination in Wilsonville - 06/01/18

The City of Wilsonville announced on June 1 that regularly scheduled water testing revealed trace levels of toxins caused by algae blooms.

While no public advisory has been issued, the Department of Corrections (DOC) has chosen to be proactive and implement Oregon Health Authority guidelines for water consumption.

We are communicating with the adults in custody (AICs) at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) about the affected water. Only AICs with compromised immune systems or who are pregnant or nursing will be provided bottled water. DOC Health Services staff will be available to any AICs who may be experiencing symptoms related to the water contamination.

CCCF is a multi-custody prison located in Wilsonville accommodating all of Oregon’s female inmates (approximately 1,260). The prison has cell and dormitory housing, inmate work programs, skills training, treatment programs, health services, religious services, physical plant, a central records unit, and administrative areas. CCCF participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises, including a contact center, auto CAD, and document scanning. In addition, CCCF houses the state’s intake center, which provides intake and evaluation of all inmates committed to state custody by the courts. The intake center houses approximately 400 male inmates. CCCF’s minimum facility opened in 2001, and the medium facility opened in 2002.

DOC employs 4,700 staff members at 14 institutions, two community corrections offices, and several centralized support facilities throughout the state. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of over 14,700 adults sentenced to more than 12 months of incarceration, and direct or indirect supervision of 31,000 offenders on felony supervision in the community. DOC is recognized nationally among correctional agencies for providing adults in custody with the cognitive, education, and job skills needed to become productive citizens when they transition back to their communities.

Oregon Department of Corrections is Managing Water Contamination for Salem Area Institutions - 05/30/18

Salem city officials notified city residents and surrounding communities on May 29 that the water supply from Detroit Lake is contaminated by low level toxins caused by algae blooms.

 

The water supply at Salem area institutions (Oregon State Penitentiary, Oregon State Correctional Institution, Mill Creek Correctional Facility, and Santiam Correctional Institution) has been affected by this contamination. We have communicated with the adults in custody (AICs) at the affected institutions. AICs with compromised immune systems are being provided bottled water. The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) Health Services staff will be available for any AICs who may be experiencing any symptoms related to the water contamination.

 

DOC employs 4,700 staff members at 14 institutions, two community corrections offices, and several centralized support facilities throughout the state. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of over 14,700 adults sentenced to more than 12 months of incarceration, and direct or indirect supervision of 31,000 offenders on felony supervision in the community. DOC is recognized nationally among correctional agencies for providing adults in custody with the cognitive, education, and job skills needed to become productive citizens when they transition back to their communities.

Volunteers at Warner Creek Correctional Facility
Volunteers at Warner Creek Correctional Facility
Warner Creek Correctional Facility Honors Dedicated Volunteers (Photo) - 05/29/18

Warner Creek Correctional Facility (WCCF) welcomed volunteers and their guests for the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner put on by the Volunteer Coordinator Chaplain Stan Friend. Superintendent, Steve Brown personally thanked the volunteers for the services they provide to WCCF’s adults in custody.

WCCF takes pride in promoting the Volunteer Program’s Mission:

To foster a respected and recognized volunteer community of appropriate size and quality that is capable of serving the rehabilitative, religious/spiritual, educational, and other pro-social activity needs of individuals who are incarcerated or undergoing reentry from incarceration back to the community, and provide support to the staff and the mission of the department.

The Statewide Volunteer Program fosters more than 2,000 volunteers working in the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) while representing 14 locations. The areas where volunteers support the work of the DOC include:

  • A&D 12-Step Programs
  • Administration
  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Community Corrections
  • Counseling & Treatment Services
  • Education
  • Home for Good in Oregon
  • Health Services
  • Interns
  • Life Skills
  • Mental Health Services
  • Parole Board
  • Reentry
  • Religious Services
  • Research Unit
  • Victim Program

Volunteers have ideas and skills that complement DOC’s Mission, Vision, and Values to prepare adults in custody for their reintegration to Oregon Communities.

WCCF is a minimum-security prison in Lakeview that houses up to 496 male inmates who are within four year of release. WCCF provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, transitional programs, religious services, and work opportunity crews. WCCF has a contact center on site through Oregon Corrections Enterprises. WCCF opened in September 2005 and is one of Oregon’s 14 operating prisons. It received the State Energy Efficiency Design (SEED) award in May 2008 for its progress in design efficiency. The most energy-efficient element at WCCF is the use of geothermal energy, providing 100 percent of the hot water to the facility.                                                                         

 

Oregon Department of Corrections is Among Five Jurisdictions Making Significant Strides in Reducing the Use of Special Housing in Prisons and Jails - 05/25/18

The practice of using special housing has been the subject of scrutiny because of the harmful impact on incarcerated people, staff, and public safety for the community at large.  In 2015, the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) partnered with The Vera Institute of Justice in the Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative, a partnership with four other local and state corrections agencies willing to address this difficult issue.

A report presenting highlights of the findings of Vera’s assessment of these systems, and recommendations for ways these systems can reduce their use of restrictive housing and employ safe, effective alternatives was released earlier this month. Recently, Vera released Rethinking Restrictive Housing, a special online version of that report, now including updates on the impact these reforms had on (DOC) and the progress made to date.

DOC significantly reduced the men and women in special housing:

  • During the fourth quarter of 2016, 8.82 percentage of total population was in restrictive housing.
  • During the fourth quarter of 2017, 7.72 percent of total population was in restrictive housing.
  • As of April 30, 2018, DOC had 269 vacant special housing beds. Historically these beds have been filled, but DOC has made progress and sustained vacancies.
     

Generally defined as holding someone in a cell, typically for 22 to 24 hours a day, with minimal human interaction or sensory stimuli, the practice can result in significant physical and psychological damage with negative repercussions that persist well after release.

"We are committed to both reducing the number of men and women in special housing and the length of time spent in these units in a safe manner for staff and other adults in custody. The department’s two pronged mission requires that we hold offenders accountable and reduce future criminal behavior. Living in special housing for an extended period of time, is counterproductive in our effort to prepare these individuals for reentry into our communities,” states DOC Director Colette S. Peters.

“For too long, restrictive housing has been a deeply hidden and misunderstood issue,” said Sara Sullivan, Project Director for Vera’s Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative. “We commend these five partner sites for opening their doors to Vera and for welcoming assistance as they tackle this with urgency. Through this work, these corrections agencies have joined the movement towards promoting safety for all those who work and live in jails and prisons, while respecting the dignity and worth of those in their care.”

DOC employs 4,700 staff members at 14 institutions, two community corrections offices, and several centralized support facilities throughout the state. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of over 14,700 adults sentenced to more than 12 months of incarceration, and direct or indirect supervision of 31,000 offenders on felony supervision in the community. DOC is recognized nationally among correctional agencies for providing adults in custody with the cognitive, education, and job skills needed to become productive citizens when they transition back to their communities.

About the Vera Institute of Justice

The Vera Institute of Justice is an independent nonprofit national research and policy organization working with governments to build and improve justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities.

Oregon Brings Together Local Leaders to Discuss Key Public Safety, Behavioral Health Challenges - 05/24/18

A broad coalition of stakeholders met today to discuss ways Oregon can help counties and tribal governments improve responses to people in the criminal justice system who have behavioral health needs.

Thirty-two of the state’s 36 local public safety coordinating councils (LPSCC) were represented at the Oregon Forum on Behavioral Health and Public Safety, which took place at the Salem Convention Center. Attendees included sheriffs, jail commanders, community mental health program (CMHP) directors, probation and parole officers, judges, local police departments, LPSCC coordinators, jail mental health directors, representatives from coordinated care organizations, Oregon Health Authority behavorial health staff, district attorneys and public defenders.

Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen said, “The justice system was designed to prevent, protect against and prosecute criminal offenses. It was not designed to treat mental illness. The best way to support people with mental illness is to connect them to treatment in our local communities. Today’s conversation is a chance to deepen the partnership between Oregon’s behavioral health and public safety systems and lay the groundwork for more effective solutions that better promote individual recovery and community safety.”

Participants at the forum discussed the challenges that local governments and the state face regarding community behavioral health treatment and services, including services that are tailored to people in the criminal justice system. They also discussed how to increase access to and effectiveness of behavioral health treatment in localities across the state and how to improve information and data sharing across behavioral health and criminal justice agencies.

“While Oregon has a rich base of behavioral health treatment practitioners, services are not equally accessible to all, especially for people in the criminal justice system,” said Michael Schmidt, Executive Director of the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC). “Even when people are able to access services, those services too often are not timely or tailored to be most effective in addressing the unique characteristics and needs of people with frequent contact with the criminal justice system.”

The statewide forum builds on the national 50-State Summit on Public Safety, which was hosted by The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center in partnership with the Association of the State Correctional Administrators (ASCA) in November 2017. The CSG Justice Center is a national nonprofit organization that provides practical, nonpartisan advice and evidence-based strategies to increase public safety and strengthen communities.

Attending the 50-State Summit from Oregon were CJC Director Mike Schmidt, Oregon Department of Corrections Director Colette Peters and Assistant Director for Offender Management and Rehabilitation Heidi Stewart and Judge Kelly Skye. They joined teams from 49 other states at the summit to examine local criminal justice trends and identify strategies for reducing crime and recidivism, improving outcomes for people who have mental illnesses and substance addictions, and reducing spending on prisons and jails.

“Like many states across the nation, Oregon has seen an increase in the number of drug overdose deaths over the last decade, particularly from methamphetamine use. Local and state law enforcement and corrections departments report that many people in their custody struggle with mental illnesses and substance addictions,” said Dr. Reginald C. Richardson Sr., Executive Director of the Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission. “Developing a more comprehensive and integrated statewide behavioral health strategy is essential to supporting local systems.”

Oregon is currently seeking to partner with the CSG Justice Center to use a data-driven behavorial health justice reinvestment approach to analyze and address the state’s challenges. This project would be a unique approach in that county and tribal government officials would help drive the project to ensure that the statewide strategies identified can truly improve behavioral health and criminal justice outcomes and reduce costs at the local level.

The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission and Oregon Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission hosted the state forum, and it was facilitated by representatives from the CSG Justice Center. Funding for the forum was provided by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.