Oregon Dept. of Corrections
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News Releases
Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution reports in-custody death - 10/20/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died October 19, 2020. He was incarcerated at the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution and passed away at a local hospital. He tested positive for COVID-19. He was between 50 and 60 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the sixteenth AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state.

DOC requires employees and AICs to wear masks if they cannot maintain six feet of social distancing. Wearing masks is mandatory at all times in health services areas, some work areas, and in food services areas. Face coverings have been provided to AICs and staff. If an AIC becomes ill and exhibits flu-like symptoms, CDC and OHA guidance for supportive care are followed.

Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID to medical staff. Posters are in all DOC institutions encouraging individuals to maintain proper hygiene and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible. Health screening processes are in place before staff are allowed to enter facilities. This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire. Visiting remains closed until further notice.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a press release when an AIC passed away. This notification would include the person’s name, county of conviction, sentence length, and date of death. However, no cause of death would be listed because the Medical Examiner makes that determination. In order to balance the desire for transparency with our legal obligation to protect personal health information, we have changed the AIC death notification process when someone dies who has tested positive for COVID-19. DOC is working with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.

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Attached Media Files: COVID-19 at ODOC
Assistant Director Rob Persson
Assistant Director Rob Persson
DOC announces Assistant Director (Photo) - 10/19/20

Colette S. Peters, Director of the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC), recently announced the appointment of Rob Persson as the agency’s new Assistant Director of Operations, effective December 1. Mr. Persson will step into this role after the retirement of Assistant Director Michael Gower, who has dedicated the past 37 years to law enforcement.

Mr. Persson is a 25-year DOC veteran, beginning his career in 1995 as a Correctional Officer. He promoted through the ranks to Lieutenant at Santiam Correctional Institution and Mill Creek Correctional Facility. Persson served as Prison Term Analyst Manager and then Administrator for the Offender Information and Sentence Computation Unit. He later became Assistant Superintendent at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF), promoting to Superintendent at Oregon State Correctional Institution and then Superintendent at CCCF. Currently, Persson serves as the Westside Institutions Administrator for the Operations Division. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Western Oregon University and a Certificate of Public Management from Willamette University, Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

“We are thrilled to welcome Rob to the Executive Team as we continue our great work in these challenging times. Rob’s leadership, experience, and ingenuity – coupled with his relationships both internally and externally – will be invaluable as we persevere and move into the future,” stated Director Peters.

DOC employs 4,600 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 approximately 14,000 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.

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Attached Media Files: Assistant Director Rob Persson
Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death - 10/17/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died October 17, 2020. He was incarcerated at the Snake River Correctional Institution and passed away at a local hospital. He tested positive for COVID-19. He was between 55 and 65 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the fifteenth AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state.

DOC requires employees and AICs to wear masks if they cannot maintain six feet of social distancing. Wearing masks is mandatory at all times in health services areas, some work areas, and in food services areas. Cloth masks have been provided to AICs and staff. If an AIC becomes ill and exhibits flu-like symptoms, CDC and OHA guidance for supportive care are followed.

Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID to medical staff. Posters are in all DOC institutions encouraging individuals to maintain proper hygiene and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible. Health screening processes are in place before staff are allowed to enter facilities. This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire. Visiting remains closed until further notice.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a press release when an AIC passed away. This notification would include the person’s name, county of conviction, sentence length, and date of death. However, no cause of death would be listed because the Medical Examiner makes that determination. In order to balance the desire for transparency with our legal obligation to protect personal health information, we have changed the AIC death notification process when someone dies who has tested positive for COVID-19. DOC is working with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.

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Attached Media Files: COVID-19 at ODOC
Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death - 10/13/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died October 13, 2020. He was incarcerated at the Snake River Correctional Institution and passed away at a local hospital. He tested positive for COVID-19. He was between 70 and 80 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the fourteenth AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state.

DOC requires employees and AICs to wear masks if they cannot maintain six feet of social distancing. Wearing masks is mandatory at all times in health services areas, some work areas, and in food services areas. Cloth masks have been provided to AICs and staff. If an AIC becomes ill and exhibits flu-like symptoms, CDC and OHA guidance for supportive care are followed.

Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID to medical staff. Posters are in all DOC institutions encouraging individuals to maintain proper hygiene and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible. Health screening processes are in place before staff are allowed to enter facilities. This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire. Visiting remains closed until further notice.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a press release when an AIC passed away. This notification would include the person’s name, county of conviction, sentence length, and date of death. However, no cause of death would be listed because the Medical Examiner makes that determination. In order to balance the desire for transparency with our legal obligation to protect personal health information, we have changed the AIC death notification process when someone dies who has tested positive for COVID-19. DOC is working with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.

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Attached Media Files: COVID-19 at ODOC
Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death - 10/06/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died October 6, 2020. He was incarcerated at the Snake River Correctional Institution and passed away at a local hospital. He tested positive for COVID-19. He was between 70 and 80 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the thirteenth AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state.

DOC requires employees and AICs to wear masks if they cannot maintain six feet of social distancing. Wearing masks is mandatory at all times in health services areas, some work areas, and in food services areas. Cloth masks have been provided to AICs and staff. If an AIC becomes ill and exhibits flu-like symptoms, CDC and OHA guidance for supportive care are followed.

Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID to medical staff. Posters are in all DOC institutions encouraging individuals to maintain proper hygiene and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible. Health screening processes are in place before staff are allowed to enter facilities. This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire. Visiting remains closed until further notice.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a press release when an AIC passed away. This notification would include the person’s name, county of conviction, sentence length, and date of death. However, no cause of death would be listed because the Medical Examiner makes that determination. In order to balance the desire for transparency with our legal obligation to protect personal health information, we have changed the AIC death notification process when someone dies who has tested positive for COVID-19. DOC is working with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.

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Evan L. Lichty
Evan L. Lichty
Two Rivers Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo) - 10/06/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Evan L. Lichty, died October 5, 2020. Lichty was incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) in Umatilla and passed away while on hospice care. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified.

Lichty entered DOC custody on November 5, 2015, from Marion County. His earliest release date was September 22, 2022. Lichty was 87 years old. Next of kin has been notified.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,000 individuals who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

TRCI is a multi-custody prison in Umatilla that houses approximately 1,800 adults in custody. TRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including institution and industrial laundry, mattress manufacturing, and sewing. Other institution 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.

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Attached Media Files: Evan L. Lichty
Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death - 10/05/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died October 5, 2020. He was incarcerated at the Snake River Correctional Institution and passed away at a local hospital. He tested positive for COVID-19. He was between 65 and 75 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the twelfth AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state.

DOC requires employees and AICs to wear masks if they cannot maintain six feet of social distancing. Wearing masks is mandatory at all times in health services areas, some work areas, and in food services areas. Cloth masks have been provided to AICs and staff. If an AIC becomes ill and exhibits flu-like symptoms, CDC and OHA guidance for supportive care are followed.

Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID to medical staff. Posters are in all DOC institutions encouraging individuals to maintain proper hygiene and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible. Health screening processes are in place before staff are allowed to enter facilities. This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire. Visiting remains closed until further notice.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a press release when an AIC passed away. This notification would include the person’s name, county of conviction, sentence length, and date of death. However, no cause of death would be listed because the Medical Examiner makes that determination. In order to balance the desire for transparency with our legal obligation to protect personal health information, we have changed the AIC death notification process when someone dies who has tested positive for COVID-19. DOC is working with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.

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Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death - 10/04/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died October 4, 2020. He was incarcerated at the Snake River Correctional Institution and passed away at a local hospital. He tested positive for COVID-19. He was between 60 and 70 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the eleventh AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state.

DOC requires employees and AICs to wear masks if they cannot maintain six feet of social distancing. Wearing masks is mandatory at all times in health services areas, some work areas, and in food services areas. Cloth masks have been provided to AICs and staff. If an AIC becomes ill and exhibits flu-like symptoms, CDC and OHA guidance for supportive care are followed.

Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID to medical staff. Posters are in all DOC institutions encouraging individuals to maintain proper hygiene and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible. Health screening processes are in place before staff are allowed to enter facilities. This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire. Visiting remains closed until further notice.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a press release when an AIC passed away. This notification would include the person’s name, county of conviction, sentence length, and date of death. However, no cause of death would be listed because the Medical Examiner makes that determination. In order to balance the desire for transparency with our legal obligation to protect personal health information, we have changed the AIC death notification process when someone dies who has tested positive for COVID-19. DOC is working with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.

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Snake River Correctional Institution reports in-custody death - 10/03/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died on October, 2020. He was incarcerated at the Snake River Correctional Institution and passed away at a local hospital. He tested positive for COVID-19. He was between 75 and 85 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the tenth AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state.

DOC requires employees and AICs to wear masks if they cannot maintain six feet of social distancing. Wearing masks is mandatory at all times in health services areas, some work areas, and in food services areas. Cloth masks have been provided to AICs and staff. If an AIC becomes ill and exhibits flu like symptoms, CDC and OHA guidance for supportive care are followed.

Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID to medical staff. Posters are in all DOC institutions encouraging individuals to maintain proper hygiene and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible. Health screening processes are in place before staff are allowed to enter facilities. This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire. Visiting remains closed until further notice.

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a press release when an AIC passed away. This notification would include the person’s name, county of conviction, sentence length, and date of death. However, no cause of death would be listed because the Medical Examiner makes that determination. In order to balance the desire for transparency with our legal obligation to protect personal health information, we have changed the AIC death notification process when someone dies who has tested positive for COVID-19. DOC is working with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.

Edward R. Soto
Edward R. Soto
Two Rivers Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo) - 10/02/20

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Edward R. Soto, died October 2, 2020. Soto was incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) in Umatilla and passed away while on hospice care. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified.

Soto entered DOC custody on December 10, 2019, from Marion County with an earliest release date of August 27, 2023. Soto was 57 years old.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 14,000 individuals who are incarcerated in 14 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

TRCI is a multi-custody prison in Umatilla that houses approximately 1,800 adults in custody. TRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including institution and industrial laundry, mattress manufacturing, and sewing. Other institution 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.

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Attached Media Files: Edward R. Soto