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  • National Crime Victims’ Rights Week April 6-12, 2014
    30 Years: Restoring the Balance of Justice
     
    Every April, the Office for Victims of Crime observes National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (NCVRW) by promoting the rights of victims and honoring victims of crime and their advocates.

    For 30 years the nation has made dramatic progress in securing rights, protections, and services for victims. Every state has enacted victims’ rights laws, and all have victim compensation programs.
    More than 10,000 victim service agencies now help people throughout the country. In 1984, Congress passed the bipartisan Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), which created a national fund to ease victims’ suffering. The Crime Victims Fund is financed by fines and penalties paid by offenders, and supports victim services, such as rape crisis and domestic violence programs, and victim compensation programs.  These funds pay many of victims’ out-of-pocket expenses from the crime, such as counseling, funeral expenses, and lost wages.

    Victims’ rights advocates have scored remarkable victories over the last 30 years. But there is more work to be done. more...
  • Oregon Department of Corrections honored with local green award
    The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) was named Recycler of the Year on Saturday, March 1, at the 2014 Mid-Valley Green Awards Ceremony in Salem. The awards honor and celebrate sustainable, earth-conscious, and responsible companies, organizations, and individuals.
                                               
    Over the past several years, DOC has employed sustainable strategies such as reducing energy consumption, enhancing recycling efforts, and investing in gardening and composting. The agency is continually looking at new and innovative approaches to sustainability.
     
    One approach is the development of a fully operational recycle center to collect all recyclables from the department’s 14 prisons. The center currently recycles the following items:
    more...
  • National Volunteer Week April 6-12, 2014

    Oregon’s 14 prisons are served by nearly 2,600 volunteers. These dedicated citizens donate their time, skill, energy, and enthusiasm to the Oregon Department of Corrections’ (DOC) 14 institutions around the state. DOC volunteers donate over 404,000 hours each year. This is a cost savings to Oregon taxpayers of approximately $15.3 million per year. As a result, life-changing programs and services are available to thousands of adults in custody every day.

    Sixty percent of DOC’s volunteers represent dozens of church denominations and other faith groups. They provide religious worship, one-on-one faith counseling, and other spiritual and cultural growth opportunities. Religious volunteers make faith-based programs possible every day of the week -- mornings, afternoons and evenings.

    Alcohol and drug 12-step programs make up another 10 percent of the volunteer corps. Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings are brought in by fellow recovering alcoholics and addicts from the local communities to support sobriety. Al-Anon support group members are also active in some locations.
  • Public Safety Reform Bill Promises Savings and Investments
    During the 2013 legislative session, policymakers made significant changes to public safety laws to control prison costs, while protecting public safety and holding offenders accountable.
     
    House Bill 3194 (HB 3194) includes many recommendations of Governor Kitzhaber’s Commission on Public Safety. It passed with the involvement and support of many stakeholders, including business leaders, the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police, sheriffs, community corrections directors, district attorneys, and Crime Victims United.
     
    HB 3194 will save taxpayers an anticipated $326 million over the next ten years by holding the prison population flat through 2018. To achieve this goal, the bill enacts a number of policy shifts, including:
    • Ensure prison beds focus on serious violent offenders - by expanding presumptive probation for marijuana and driving-while-suspended offenders, and allowing judges greater discretion in sentencing M57 offenders.
    • Encourage good behavior and reduce the likelihood of recidivism - by expanding short-term transitional leave for offenders leaving prison from 30 to 90 days, and implementing earned discharge in community corrections.
    • Enhance evidence-based, cost-effective community supervision practices - by requiring the use of risk and needs assessments to determine probation supervision conditions, and implementing statewide standards for specialty courts.
     
    A new Task Force on Public Safety will oversee implementation of the policy changes. HB 5008 establishes funding to enact the legislation and reflects new investments in community corrections and support for victims of domestic and sexual violence.
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For information on prison visiting closures and changes click on the following link.
 
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DOC is Going Tobacco Free
As part of Gov. Kitzhaber's tobacco-free state properties initiative, DOC will become completely tobacco free on Dec. 31, 2014. This order applies to all employees, volunteers, and visitors.
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