Friday, 04 May 2012 18:43

Timber county sheriff warns of cuts

GRANTS PASS — If Oregon’s rural Josephine County decides against a property tax hike this month, Sheriff Gil Gilbertson told voters he will be the only lawman left who can be called around the clock because of cuts back to staffing levels not seen here since the days of the Wild West.

Published in Prison Legal News

By William Anderson/Argus Observer

Tuesday, December 20, 2011 11:29 AM PST

One program in the area is helping make that transition easier by providing a helping hand.

Published in Prisoner Support
Oregon Prison Inmate working out in the rec yard
Brian Feulner/The Oregonian  Jessey H. Allen works with fitness cables in the yard at the minimum security unit of Deer Ridge Correctional Institution in Madras. Oregon prisons will hit capacity in the next two years, triggering the opening of two mothballed prisons in 2013 that could cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
Published: Wednesday, July 06, 2011, 8:52 PM     Updated: Thursday, July 07, 2011, 4:45 PM
By Les Zaitz, The Oregonian  

Oregon's most modern prison sits empty, unused since it was finished three years ago.

Though the state borrowed $120 million to build the medium-security unit at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution, it hasn't had the money to guard, feed and otherwise care for inmates the prison was supposed to hold.

It still doesn't.

Oregon taxpayers over the next two years will put more money than ever into the state prison system, but it won't be enough. And the need will only grow as the state braces to add nearly 1,500 prisoners over the next four years.

The state Corrections Department is losing 223 positions. Programs to keep inmates from returning to prison are being weakened. Staff training on topics ranging from gang identification to mental health treatment is being reduced once again. The minimum-security prison next to the Oregon State Penitentiary, closed last fall to save money, will remain dark.

Published in Current Events
Posted: Thursday, May 12, 2011 9:16 am | Updated: 8:22 am, Fri May 13, 2011.

A micro business project manufacturing skim boards at the Tillamook Youth Correction facility is designed to help juvenile sex offenders reform and gain employment skills. The boards are used to skim across the sand after a wave has receded on the beach.

Phillip Russell, the wood shop teacher, developed the skim board manufacturing program to give the young offenders a program that would challenge them.

"I wanted something that they could buy into, that they could be excited about and that they could apply in life," said Russell. He believes most youth can identify with extreme sports and the skim boards.

Published in Prisoner Support
Families complained after sudden and hefty price boost

Statesman Journal
12:20 AM, Feb. 5, 2011

Families and friends of Oregon prison inmates complained this week about being socked with inflated charges for prisoner phone calls, prompting a state inquiry that resulted in cancellation of the rate increase.

The uproar began Tuesday, when new rates were imposed by a Texas-based firm that contracts with the state to provide the Oregon Department of Corrections inmate telephone system.

Inmates and family members were surprised and dismayed by the higher rates, which took effect without any advance notice.

Published in Inmate Telephone News