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News Release
Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo) - 01/23/23

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Thomas James Kjersten, passed away January 23, 2023. Kjersten was incarcerated at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) in Pendleton and passed away at the facility. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the State Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. 

Kjersten entered DOC custody on October 4, 2018, from Yamhill County, with an earliest release date of January 30, 2031. Kjersten was 62 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 approximately 12,000 men and women who are incarcerated in 12 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.

EOCI is a multi-custody prison located in Pendleton that houses over 1,550 adults in custody. The institution is known for its Oregon Corrections Enterprises industries, including a garment factory that produces Prison Blues©, whose products are sold in and outside the United States. Other industries are its embroidery and laundry facilities. EOCI provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, drug and alcohol treatment, mental health treatment, religious services, and work crews. The buildings that make up EOCI were constructed in 1912 and 1913 and were originally used as a state mental hospital. After two years of renovation, EOCI received its first occupants in June 1985.

 

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Attached Media Files: Thomas J. Kjersten
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