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The Inmate Clubs of OSCI

About Inmate Clubs

New Horizons Club
The Asian Club
NAPA Club
The Solutions Club
Weusi Umoja Club
La Raza Unida Club
 
The mission of the clubs of OSCI is to create a pro-social environment in which inmates establish the skills necessary to correct their behavioral patterns and adopt new pro-social philosophies proven to turn lives around.  This is done through supporting restorative justice efforts in the community and rewarding pro-social behavior within the institution in accordance with the Oregon Accountability Model.
 
School Supply Program 
 
The School Supply Program is conducted by the Weusi Umoja Club who have made it their personal mission to ensure that children of incarcerated parents receive the assistance they need to succeed in school.
 
Many families with one of more parents incarcerated suffer financially. This often leads to a lower standard of living and contributes to the likelihood that children of incarcerated parents will themselves be incarcerated.
 
The School Supply Program is the first of many steps to help reverse this effect and ultimately break the cycle of incarceration.
 
Domestic Violence Seminar
 
The Inipi Oyate Ki Club conducts a domestic violence seminar facilitated by the Native American Youth Association and Red lodge. The seminar focused on the United Nations Basic Human Rights Act and the rights of women and children. Sharing this information they are able to educate men on how their choices affect their family.
 
Food Drive for the Oregon Food Bank
 
The Solutions Club Holds an annual food drive for the Oregon good Bank. Men from throughout the institution purchase food from the commissary and donate hundreds of dollars to help feed those in need.
 
Cranes for the Cure Project
 
The Solutions Club holds an annual fund raiser for the Race for the Cure Foundation. This foundation leads the effort to find a cure for breast cancer. To help in this effort the Solutions club and several volunteers from other clubs constructed a mobile and folded 100 origami cranes. Each sponsored crane had the sponsor’s name written on the crane.
 
The finished mobile is sent to the Cancer Ward of OHSU in Portland for display.
 
Holiday Visiting Room Events
 
Many children with incarcerated fathers suffer during the holidays due to many factors. Factors such as the absence of their father from the home, the financial impact due to a single parent income and the excuses children often come up with to explain the absence of their father.
 
A large number of children of incarcerated parents spend a majority of their holidays in prison visiting rooms around the state.
 
The Weusi Umoja, La Raza Unida and New Horizons clubs with the cooperation of the Administration of ASOI have made serious improvements to the quality of the holiday experience in the Visiting Room of OSCI.


Most notably are the Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween and Christmas programs during which the clubs decorate the Visiting Room as well as provide gifts and entertainment to the children and care givers of incarnated parents.
 
 

OCSI Club Event Recognition
OSCI Club Event Recognition (pdf)
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New Horizons

New Horizons
In 1997, a group of long-term inmates started New Horizons to begin finding ways to improve the community inside the Oregon state Corrections Institution. Administrative approved the club as a way for to achieve proactive growth as a group of men.
 
New Horizons has reached into areas of service that were unseen at the club’s inception. As their sense of community grew, the scope of their ideas began to include people outside the institution.
 
Today, New Horizons is dedicated to building relationships through service to others. Their sense of community grows with every outreach project and our dedication to finding creative opportunities to serve gives them purpose and fulfillment.
 
New Horizons is comprised of 60 men serving lengthy sentences (over 20 years). Because their outreach includes OSCI’s general population, their force of membership includes anyone who is will to help others.
 
Community outreach projects have been a positive force for the goals of OSCI’s clubs. Members put a lot of time and energy into projects that address community needs, gaining satisfaction from knowing that they are contributing to the good of others. Some of their projects include:
 
Kids-to-Camp Gales Creek Fundraiser
The Gales Creek Camp for children with diabetes holds summer camp every year.  The New Horizon club raises funds to help kids attend this great camp.
 
Creative Connections
Building relationships and teaching disable inmates at OSCI through arts and crafts.
 
Family Building Blocks
Hosting an evening of food and entertainment for inmates to raise funds for Family Building Blocks.
 
New Horizons Garden
Produce is tended on ¾ of an acre and managed by members of New Horizons
 
Halloween Visiting Room
Bringing Elmo to OSCI to pass out Halloween bags full of candy and toys to kids.
 
Christmas Visiting Room
Giving Christmas presents to children who visit friends and family at OSCI.
 

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Asian Club

Asian Club 
 
Mission Statement

To promote leadership, self-confidence, self-respect, cultural and social awareness, or to service needs within the community that are not being met by other organizations.
Through activities servicing to the community, the Asian Club recognizes members and non-members who show their willingness to participate, to help others and to help themselves in a different and often times, difficult environment. To anyone who strives for those above-mentioned qualities, the Asian Club gives opportunities and support.
Club Activities (2015)
Fundraisers (3 times a year)
Cook and deliver Asian themed meals to the general population of OSCI. The finances raised primarily sponsor and support our annual social, as well as our Visiting Room activities and support of OSCI’s Recreation Department activities.
Father’s Day Visiting Room Activities
During our Father’s Day week, club members volunteer their time and serve free beverages and muffins in Visiting Room to anyone that comes to OSCI to visit a loved one. As an incarcerated father, maintaining a good relationship with his children is/loved ones is a challenge. Helping these men to be able to connect with their families is instrumental for everyone involved both short-term and long-term. Our club likes to give everyone, who accepts the challenge that is, an opportunity to celebrate their efforts and become active participants in each other’s lives.
Annual Club Social
This event requires putting together a three-hour event in Visiting Room for our club members and their family and friends to spend time together in a cordial atmosphere that’s not available during regular visiting settings. During this time, the club member and his friends and/or family can enjoy a cooked Asian themed meal. In addition, we give away handcrafted gifts that were made by the men of OSCI’s Hobby Shop to the guests that attend the event. The social events provide us, the men of OSCI, an opportunity to tell our loved ones how much we appreciate their love and support. We also have a Canine Wildlife Management dog named Doc that comes out and enjoys the festivities, happily greeting everyone.
Thanksgiving Day Visiting Room Activity
During the week of Thanksgiving, club members again serve free beverages and snack items, such as cookies, in the Visiting Room to anyone that comes to OSCI to visit a loved one. The annual holiday is another chance for us to tell our loved ones how much they mean to us. It’s great to see the excitement on everyone’s face as we all celebrate the holiday together and over cookies and cocoa.
Annual Coat Giveaway
During the month of October or November, our club sponsors a Coat Giveaway in which we provide, free of charge, one coat to any child that comes to OSCI to visit a loved one. Coat sizes range in size from extra-small to 2X and both male and female colors/patterns. It’s great to see the looks on the kids faces when they see all of the coats and the excitement they exhibit when trying to figure out which no they want. Sometimes their mom would override the child’s decision and every time you would hear, “Come mom, please!” The money provided to purchase the coats is primarily funded through a grant graciously sponsored by Wal-Mart.
Hobby Shop Bench
A couple of club members share a Hobby Shop bench in which they create various items from wood and leather primarily. These items are then put up for sale in display cases that can then be bought by both OSCI staff and the men incarcerated here. Handcrafted items make great gifts and can make people feel valued and warm.
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NAPA Club

Native American People's Association
 
NAPA Mission Statement
To nurture and maintain a healthy and positive living environment, in order to assist younger Native Americans in accomplishing individual life goals, and becoming active and contributing members in both the outside and inside community, while at the same time offering insight and education about Native traditions and beliefs to non-natives who seek to understand our culture.

Because we care about traditional cultural valuesm we stand for integrity, efficiency, problem solving, equity, and character in all our relationshops and interactions. We do this to promote growth, accountability and empowerment in individual members and in our circle as a whole.

NAPA Activities (2015)

Sun Dance/Spirit Run

The Sun Dance is one of the most sacred of all Native American traditions and at its heart is a ceremony of rebirth and sacrifice. Most ceremonies take place in July (though a few happen in August) and during that period the dancers, and those who support them, will gather together from across the nation at various traditional sites for the weeklong ceremony. In modern times the Sun Dance holds the additional
significance of being one of the few traditions that has survived intact even though it was still illegal a few decades ago, and only a generation or two before that Natives might be killed if caught dancing.

Inside a prison we do not expect, nor do we ask to dance. Instead we run to honor our ancestors who died to keep this tradition alive, for those who dance for us on the outside and all our relations around the world who we pray for as we run and offer up our suffering. The run is an important tradition where participants are asked to think not of themselves but of others; to pray for their families, for their communities, and
even for their enemies.

Pow-Wow

This annual event is perhaps one of the most easily recognized among Native American traditional ceremony, with hundreds taking place throughout the United States during the summer months. At its root it is a reaffirmation of our sense of community and expresses our intentions to survive as a people in the
modem world. Here at OSCI we celebrated with family, friends and representatives from various local tribes including Grand Ronde, Klamath, Siletz and Warm Springs. We gathered together for a day of drumming,
dancing, prayers and sacred songs, a give away, and of course a great meal prepared by our members form ingredients both donated from outside supporters and purchased with funds raised during the year.

Annual Social

This three-hour event is a time for our members, along with others who have offered support throughout the year to spend an evening with friends and family from the outside. Those attending are served a delicious Native-themed meal and may enjoy the company of their visitor in a more serene environment that
that offered during a normal visit. We also take the time to honor the people who have contributed to our community during the previous year and also give way gifts donated from our bench in the Hobby Shop.

 Hobby Shop Bench

Several members work together in the OSCI Hobby Shop, sharing a bench where they handcraft a variety of items ranging from traditional bead and leatherwork, to paintings and woodwork. These items are then offered for sale to both staff and inmates here at OSCI, as well as donated as gifts for our Pow-Wow, Social, and various charities throughout the year.

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Solutions Club

Solutions Club

Change from the inside out

Mission Statement

Help men become accountable to the communities they are returning to.

Keep families bonded through reading and communication.

Programs

  • Bonding through Books (Fathers reading to their children)
  • Inspirational Speakers promoting transformation
  • Halloween events in the visiting room
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Weusi Umoja

Weusi Umoja
(Way oo’se Oo’moeja) 
 
Mission Statement

The Weusi Umoja club is dedicated to empowering its members through self-awareness and self-respect; this is achieved through providing an education of the history of Africa and the contributions of African Americans in the United States. This, we believe, serves the purpose of equipping the Weusi Umoja club members with a firm knowledge of themselves, their history, and their obligations within their families and communities.

Programs and Activities

Weusi Umoja involves its members in several community outreach efforts every year. For instance, every August the club hosts the Back-to-School program in the OSCI visiting room. They hand out 150– 200 backpacks and school supplies to children who are visiting their incarcerated father, grandfather, uncle or brother. Kids receive paper, pencils, rulers, calculators, and many more much-needed supplies from this giveaway.

Weusi Umoja also hosts the Valentine’s Day program, which also takes place in the visiting room. Inmates are able to purchase various candy items that can be sent home to their loved ones or presented to their loved one during a Valentine’s Day visit. The club itself is responsible for the logistics of this event, but profits no money in doing so.

Fundraising is an ongoing, difficult effort that Weusi Umoja (and other clubs) is committed to in order to give back to the community in the ways mentioned above and others. For instance, its members collaborate with other clubs to host the Angel Tree Walkathon every year in an effort to generate funds for an organization that purchases much-needed gifts for children with incarcerated parents at Christmas time.

Weusi Umoja is continually seeking ways to both make an impact in the community and advancing the knowledge and resiliency within its members to become better men for themselves, their families, and communities.

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La Raza Unida

La Raza Unida 
 
Mission Statement

To promote cultural understanding, education, help our members and OSCI as a whole, develop the tools to gain new knowledge, skills and purpose so they can live healthy, productive lives both here and in the outside community.

Activities

In order to meet this mission La Raza Unida organizes or participates in the following activities annually:

Visiting Room Easter Celebration

The Club Decorates the Visiting Room, provides refreshments for inmates and their visitors and hands out Easter Baskets to children.

Visiting Room Mother’s Day Celebration

The Club provides refreshments for all visitors, as well as carnations for mothers.

Angel Tree Charity Fundraiser
The club makes a donation each year to support this important event; it also provides members to assist with the logistics and running of the three day event.


Recreation Department Fundraisers/Events

The club regularly donates funds and time to support the OSCI Recreation Department in its efforts to help make the faculty a better place to live for it’s community.

Community Charity Donation

Our annual donation this year will be to the Salem/Keizer Coalition for equality (SKCE), with Champions Social Justice, education and equality for people of color in the local community.

Upcoming Events for 2016

Video Grams

Sponsored program that allows inmates to record a 15 min video message for friends and family. This program is especially helpful for inmates who have relations outside the USA. Participants can read a story to their Children, play along or simply talk for the allotted time.

Cultural Night

Host an Evening featuring Speakers from the outside community to talk about historic and current events in Hispanic culture and its impact on the United States.

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Family First

About Family First ~ Helping Families Be Families
Family First is a Department of Corrections’ family program at the Oregon State Correctional Institution that is dedicated to strengthening the relationship between children and their incarcerated fathers.  This unique program is directed by the OSCI Administration.
 
Time and separation are real hardships for children whose fathers are incarcerated. Long gaps between visits seem longer to children with their sense of loss. Family First events are designed to help children and fathers build relationships while the father is incarcerated.


A Sportsmanship Event ~ July 2006
In July 2006, a Sportsmanship Event had families building pinewood derby cars to be raced as soon as the paint dried. The races made the evening go by particularly fast, but no so fast, that kids could not take hold of the fun they were having with their father. Sons and daughters were equally pleased with having a bit of competition mixed in with an activity with dad.
 
The kids took their cars home along with the memory of fun with dad. None of the children were happy to leave that evening, but they didn’t leave empty handed, each of them had a sense that there were better days to come.
 

Caregiver Appreciation Event ~ December 2007



 
On December 7, 2007, Family First held its annual Caregiver Appreciation Event in the OSCI visiting room. Fathers and their children worked together to show appreciation for the child’s caregiver by serving a meal and honoring them. A full meal was prepared and served so families could sit down and eat together as a family unit. This was an amazing event; for some children it was the first time they sat and ate a meal with their father.
 
This year dad made Christmas a part of the event. Family First purchased wooden ornaments that were decorated by the families after dinner. When the kids finished painting they hung the ornaments on the Christmas tree that was displayed throughout the Christmas season.
 
Toward the end of the evening each caregiver picked one of 17 shawls crocheted by Karen Bennet and her team. Santa also showed up at the event and gave each family a small bag of truffles.
 
Family First members continue to notice that many of the families are more comfortable in the visiting room and the children are showing a sense of ease among each other. Fathers have commented that their regular visits have shown the same sense of ease.
 
Number of families: 14
Number of children participant: 28

 

Scrapbooking Event ~ February 2008
On February 15, 2008, Family First hosted a scrapbooking event in the OSCI visiting room. Fathers and their children worked together to create family scrapbook pages for their ongoing scrapbooks. This is the second event where families worked on arts and crafts and spent quality time together.
 
The Scrapbooking Event provided an excellent opportunity for children and fathers to communicate in a relaxed setting outside the restrictions of normal visiting. Kids got to make a mess while creating a scrapbook page to take home and remind them of their father. Fathers practiced listening and understanding skills learned in Parenting Inside Out program.
 
After scrapbooking, the families were able to play board games, which provided further time for the families to bond and spend time together.
 
Number of Families: 12
Number of child participants: 22
 

A Charitable Night - Union Gospel Mission ~ April 2008
 
 
 
 
 

On April 18, 2008, Family First hosted a community service event in the OSCI visiting room where fathers and their children worked together to help others. The goal was to teach the kids the value of helping, giving and working in the community.
 
Family First partnered with the Union Gospel Mission (UGM) and made arrangements for the kids and fathers to work side-by-side putting together care bags. These bags were then handed out at the mission to people in need. Four different types of bags were assembled: men, women, mother and child.
 
At the event, the children painted a number of denim bags with colorful sayings and drawings. When they were finished, Donna Armstrong, the Outreach Coordinator for UGM, gave a presentation about UGM, its programs, and the importance of helping others. The kids learned about homeless people and the lives they live. After the discussion, the families worked together to fill the bags. In total 130 bags were made.
 
The final part of the evening was spent with the fathers working in a “Helpfulness Workbook” that they made prior to the event. Kids answered a number of questions about homelessness, helpfulness, charity, work, thinking about others and how they can help.
 
Number of families:  11
Number of child participants: 26
 
Sponsors:    Private Individual Donations – Cash
                   Bi-Mart
                   Ross Dress for Less
                   OCE Prison Blues Garment Factory
                   Wal-Mart
                   The Wordshop (Mary Ann Radmacher)

 

Picnic Event ~ August 2008
On August 23, 2008, Family First hosed a Family picnic event outside the visiting room at OSCI. Fathers played with their children and spent time with their families in a variety of activities.  This was Family First’s send outside event.
 
After a picnic of hamburgers, hotdogs and lots of fresh fruit all the families participated in a variety of races and activities including the Egg-In-Spoon Race, Three-legged Race, Bunny Hop Race, Ping Pong Ball Toss and Volleyball.
 
This event is a favorite among the families who enjoy Family First. To see the kids playing outside with their dads and benefiting from these activities is why Family First is so important.
 

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Crocheting for the Community

The last place you would expect a thriving crochet program to be is in a medium security prison. Yet, at Oregon State Correctional Institution such a program exists. The crochet program was designed as a service project for incarcerated men to give back to the community. .
 
The class started out with fifteen men who didn't know the difference between a skein of yarn and a roll of toilet paper but has grown into a class of more than 20 men and a waiting list.
 
The men start out learning basic stitches and apply them in 7" x 9" blocks which are sewn into afghans and donated to the charity, Warm-Up America or some other charity which includes:
  • Baby hats to the Capitol Project;
  • Infant hats and booties to the Christ the Child program;
  • Preemie blankets to local hospitals;
  • Afghans to the Shriners;
  • Chemo caps for cancer survivors;
  • Scarves and bear carriers to the OSCI Parenting Program; and
  • Crochet snowflakes that that are given out to children in the OSCI visiting room during the holidays
 
The Crochet Program is an example of the success that can be achieved with a common sense idea and inspirited volunteers. Inmates learn new life skills and are allowed to practice pro-social behaviors.
 
Recidivism is reduced one stitch at a time and everyone wins.
 


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Family Ties Newsletter

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Basic Adult Living And Negating Conflict Education (BALANCE)

 
Balance is built on a foundation of: 
  • Communication & Peer Relations
  • Effective Problem Solving
  • Peer Pressure Prevention
  • Adult Social Skills
  • Responsibility Skills
  • Personal Values
  • Thinking Error Recognition
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • Family Values
 
The BALANCE program is a once a month program with the Oregon State prison system, designed to educate and empower adults to positive living and conflict resolutions skills.
 
This class is assembled once a month and focused on working with individuals that are labeled as gang affiliated and/or considered a security threat by the institution and law enforcement.
 
Reputable inmates & counselors from the community facilitate the class. They provide an edge because they have lived and prevailed through the issues this class addresses.
 
The inmates and counselors will apply their personal experiences and inner city struggles to help others in making a change.
 
BALANCE aims to make a serious effort in stemming the increasing rate of conflict, violence, incarceration, drug abuse, and family neglect6 that exists among youth and adult offenders.
 
It is believed that by and through this program, these individuals can and will make better choices. To assist in this process, we provide opportunities in the form of programs and activities that are of a positive nature.
 
BALANCE also works with other clubs within the Oregon state prison system. These clubs host various workshops and educational programs as listed below:
 
  • Job placement after release
  • GED Preparation
  • Law and Politics
  • Spiritual Awareness & Motivation
  • How to Operate a Small Business
  • Victim-Offender Mediation Training
  • US economy & Stock Market
  • College Enrollment Preparation

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Transitions Unit

OSCI Transitions
Transitions Fair Spring 2011
OSCI’s Spring 2011 Transitions Fair began where the Spring 2010 Fair ended and continued beyond.  With over 150 resource/service providers, this was the biggest fair yet.  Resource providers included city, county, state, and federal agencies.  Additionally, there were resource and service providers for various trade schools (tattoo, flagging, etc.) as well as organizations that assist with substance abuse issues.  Just about any organization an inmate might need to be successful in his reentry into society was present, religious, governmental, as well as private. 
 
The success of OSCI’s fair continues as society as a whole realizes that the majority (90 percent plus) of the individuals incarcerated will be released.  Over 400 inmates participated.
 
Derek Robertson of Lane County Sponsors (a transitions housing organization) emotionally expressed his gratitude during a lunchtime talk to the resource/service providers.  Mr. Robertson went through the fair just four years ago as an inmate and is now a successful member of society who is assisting other inmates going through the transitional process.
 
During the Spring Transition Fair a $1,000 check was presented to the Oregon National Guard 82nd Brigade for the families of deployed troops by V-TAP (Veterans-Transitions Assistance Program). Donated funds were raised by V-TAP through monthly fundraisers which included selling Pop Tarts and cereal to the general inmate population. 
 
Additionally a raffle was held for the resource/service provide with items donated by the Crochet Program he 7th Step which included  four Earth Day afghans a handmade jewelry box 
 
Every financial feature of OSCI’s Spring 2011 Transitions Fair was provided through inmate fundraisers sponsored by inmate programs.  Without their help, the Transitions fair would not be possible.
 
 

  
Inmate Michael Collin presenting a $1,000 check to Brian Dean of the Oregon National Guard's 82nd Brigade.


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