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Department News and Updates

Please visit the COVID-19 Response page for updates on the novel coronavirus in Oregon Department of Corrections facilities.

2020 DOC Visiting Survey - Help us improve the visiting experience!

The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) knows how important visitation is for the adults in our custody (AICs). Visiting strengthens connections between friends and family and helps AICs transition back into the community upon release. Before in-person visiting was paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DOC invested time and resources to improve the visiting experience at our institutions. When DOC can safely re-open visiting, we want to make sure the experience is better than ever. To do that, we need to hear from YOU about your last visit before the COVID-19 visiting closures. 

Anyone who has visited an Oregon Department of Corrections facility can complete the survey. To share your experience with visiting, click the link below:

The survey is only open through the month of August, so don’t delay if you want to share your experience! When you have completed the survey, you will be redirected to the DOC Visiting webpage.
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2020 DOC Encuesta de visitas: ¡ayúdenos a mejorar la experiencia de las visitas!

El Departamento de Correcciones de Oregón (DOC) sabe lo importante que son las visitas para los adultos bajo nuestra custodia (AIC). Las visitas fortalecen las conexiones entre amigos y familiares y ayudan a los presos a regresar a la comunidad una vez que son liberados. Antes de que la visita en persona se detuviera debido a la pandemia de COVID-19, el DOC invirtió tiempo y recursos para mejorar la experiencia de visita en nuestras instituciones. Cuando DOC puede volver a abrir las visitas de manera segura, queremos asegurarnos de que la experiencia sea mejor que nunca. Para hacer eso, necesitamos saber de USTED sobre su última visita antes del cierre de visitas de COVID-19.

Cualquier persona que haya visitado una instalación del Departamento de Correcciones de Oregón puede completar la encuesta. Para compartir su experiencia con las visitas, haga clic en el siguiente enlace:

La encuesta solo está abierta durante el mes de agosto, así que no se demore si desea compartir su experiencia! Cuando haya completado la encuesta, será redirigido a la página web de DOC Visiting.

Telmate to Century Link Updates

Update 1: Change of correctional communication systems vendor - June 1, 2020
Update 2: Access Corrections MP3/4 player and system closeout - June 22, 2020

Telmate to Century Link: Access Corrections MP3/4 player and system closeout - June 22, 2020

DOC has worked with outgoing contractor GTL-Telmate, and their direct sub-contractor, Access Corrections, to finalize the retirement of the music player program, which is not supported under our new Correctional Communication Systems (CCS) contract.

What you need to know

  • Beginning June 4, 2020 the security timer has been changed from 30 days to 10 years. Adults in custody (AICs) must connect their device to the kiosk prior to June 26 to update the timer.
  • If an AIC is unable to connect to update the timer on a device by June 26, they will need to send their device to Access Corrections for the timer to be changed. AICs can dial *777 to reach customer service and they will provide a Return Authorization (RA) number.
  • Any un-used music vouchers must be used to download content prior to June 26. We strongly advise AICs do this as soon as possible.
  • Only the content that is on an AICs device will be retained and available to the AIC once the kiosks are deactivated. This includes photos and messages. DOC will not have the ability to make changes to this content.
  • Friends and family members have until 11:59 PM on June 22, 2020 to send any communications or photos on this system. Per the Access Corrections terms and conditions, no refunds are available for unused funds. 
  • An AIC may request Access Corrections send a disc of all purchased songs to a friend or family member for safe keeping. There is a fee of $24.99 for this service and a request form is available to AICs.
  • Access Corrections will continue to offer limited software evaluation and repair after the system is deactivated. AICs can dial *777 on the CenturyLink phones to reach Access Corrections customer service and request an RA number. No mechanical repairs will be performed.

Timeline

6/1/20 - Sale of Music Vouchers and MP3/4 Accessories ended.
6/4/20 - Access Corrections updated security timers from 30 days to 10 years. You must connect to the kiosk for the timer to update on your device.
6/23/20 - New messages can no longer be sent through the Access Corrections system. Messages in the review queue prior to this time will be processed by 6/26/20 for viewing or downloading. 
6/29/20 - Access Corrections kiosks will be taken off-line and no longer function.

Telmate to Century Link: Change of correctional communication systems vendor - June 1, 2020

***6/22/2020 UPDATE: DOC has worked with CenturyLink to expand the preregistration call period. For the first 14 days of each facility being transitioned, AICs will be able to call unregistered numbers. Please take this time to register your account with the vendor. This is an action that you as a friend or family member must complete to stay connected. Registration and account verification can be completed on the CenturyLink website or by calling 888-506-8407. 


***6/12/2020 UPDATE: To better accommodate the transition of services, CenturyLink will allow AICs to call unregistered numbers for the first 48 hours of service at each site. 


AICs are instructed to use this opportunity to reach out to friends and family to explain the transition process. A 60-second free call will be offered for each number the first time a call is attempted. Any additional calls must be paid for. After the initial 48 hours, AICs will still be able to request an automated message be sent, requesting the called party to register an account.***

The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) is in the process of transitioning its correctional communication system (phones, video kiosks, and tablets) to a new vendor, CenturyLink. This transition will be staggered across our 14 institutions.

The planned schedule for the change to CenturyLink:

Week 1: DRCI, CRCI
Week 2: SFFC, OSP, TRCI
Week 3: EOCI, SCI, MCCF, OSCI, SCCI
Week 4: WCCF, SRCI, PRCF, CCCF

Week 1 is set to start Wednesday, June 3, 2020. Please keep in mind this schedule is subject to change.

What you need to know and how to take action

STEP 1: Visit https://www.centurylinkcorrections.com/facilities/or_doc.html for all the details on rates, fees, restrictions, and more.

STEP 2: The funds on your Telmate/GTL will not transition to CenturyLink. Contact Telmate/GTL directly at 1-866-516-0115 to request a refund of any remaining balance on your Telmate/GTL accounts. (The funds on AIC accounts at the time their facility changes to CenturyLink will automatically transition to their new account with CenturyLink.)

STEP 3: Validate your phone number with CenturyLink's billing agent ICSolutions. View the guide for help with this process.

STEP 4: Set up a prepaid account through ICSolutions by calling 1-888-506-8407 or visiting their website.

DOC is aware this will be a significant change, but we are doing everything possible to minimize the impact the switch will have on your communication with friends and family members.

View or print this message as a PDF.


Previous News and Updates


Changes to Death Row - May 15, 2020

FROM: DOC Director Colette S. Peters and Deputy Director Heidi Steward
TO: All DOC employees

We want to tell you about changes to death row at the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP). Please know, these modifications will not change an adult in custody’s (AICs) sentence, only their housing assignment. At the direction of the Executive Team, OSP plans to phase out its use of death row over the coming months and reassign all AICs currently housed on death row to other special housing units or general population housing units at OSP or one of our other institutions. At this point, no housing assignments have been determined. OSP will work with population management and other institution leadership to determine appropriate placement. 

Eliminating death row will allow the department to repurpose the space currently being occupied by the row for use as a new Disciplinary Segregation Unit (DSU) at the Penitentiary. The change in location for the DSU will ensure a safer environment for both DOC employees and AICs, as it will afford increased line of site by correctional employees. It has upgraded technology, a fire suppression system, and temperature controls – which is unlike the old location. With the decommissioning of the old DSU building, OSP can consolidate services, such as medical and behavioral health services, in one location. There will be cost savings in deferred maintenance and utilities, as we will be operating one building rather than two. 

DOC leadership has been considering these changes for years and in October 2016, the Vera Institute of Justice made the recommendation to eliminate Oregon’s death row in their report, “Safe Alternatives to Segregation Initiative.” Eliminating death row reflects the department’s decision to begin making individualized housing decisions regarding AICs with a sentence of death, and a decrease in the number of AICs with death sentences.  

We continue to look for new and innovative ways to operate one of the safest and most efficient correctional systems in the country – always with the best interest of the DOC Team in mind. Even in these challenging times, we must move forward.

Budget Reduction - May 12, 2020

FROM: DOC Director Colette S. Peters and Deputy Director Heidi Steward
TO: All DOC employees

Many of you may have heard about a statewide budget exercise agencies have been asked to complete, so we wanted to take a moment to give you an update on that process. On April 24, 2020, agencies were notified by the Department of Administrative Services Chief Financial Office (DAS CFO) that the State of Oregon is anticipating an unprecedented impact to the state's General Fund and Lottery Funds revenues as a result of COVID-19 on our economy. As a reminder, over 96% of the Department of Corrections' (DOC) budget is General Fund (GF). While the precise impacts remain unknown, the State is preparing for a possible $3 billion drop in GF revenues.

While the legislature appropriates money to state agencies and ultimately determines state budgets, the primary tool available to the Governor to address a budget deficit is to implement allotment reductions across all GF appropriations.

What is an allotment reduction?

  • While DOC has a nearly $1.8 billion General Fund biennial budget, those funds are not issued to us all at once.
  • DAS forwards the funds to us in smaller increments on a quarterly basis, called allotments.
  • The exercise agencies have been asked to undertake is to report back on the potential impact if the entire 2019-21 General Fund allotment were reduced by 8.5%, or a net impact of 17% when considering we are nearly halfway through the biennium.
  • This results in a reduction target for DOC in excess of $147 million through June 2021.

For those with a history in state service, you have seen reduction exercises submitted before. We are an agency of people – those in our custody, and those who work for, or contract with, the agency. To reach the proposed targets means including options that would be extremely difficult for the agency, to include institution closures, program closures, discontinuing infrastructure projects, reducing payments to the counties, and severely curtailing spending. The proposals will represent reductions that are especially severe, because the savings gained from some components are minimal due to the amount of time left in the biennium to realize savings. We have received some inquiries about furloughs, and the instructions from DAS were that furloughs would be contemplated statewide, and not at the agency level. As you know, DOC is already under a hiring freeze due to budget limitations, and we have already undertaken a reduction and layoff process as a result of our current deficit. To reiterate, at this time our submission is an exercise to hit a specific dollar threshold. These are not implementation plans. The DOC submission can be viewed on our website.

We are so grateful to the entire DOC team as you all work through the complexities of social distancing, managing the care of 14,500 AICs, and overseeing the transition to community corrections. Your hard work upholds our agency's mission, vision, and values—despite significant budget constraints. We will keep you informed as we learn more on this topic.

All Visiting Suspended in Response to the Coronavirus - March 12, 2020

***UPDATE 3/14/20: Oregon Department of Corrections Deputy Director speaks on the agency's response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Watch the video now


***UPDATE 3/13/20: 
Due to the pause in visiting, the public will not have access to Telmate kiosks located at Department of Corrections facilities. Please visit the Telmate website or call (866) 516-0115 for assistance.


Following the State of Emergency issued in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Oregon, the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) has suspended all visiting at all 14 state prisons. This is the first time DOC has suspended visiting state-wide. This change is effective March 13, 2020 and will be reviewed in 30 days. This restriction will include non-contact visits where people speak to one another through glass. This will also include limiting institution access to only essential staff.

DOC has no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 at this time. One adult in custody (AIC) has been tested for COVID-19, and the test came back negative.

“All of us at the Oregon Department of Corrections value visiting and especially the connections that visiting affords to family and friends. We know these relationships reduce the risk of future criminal behavior. However, during this State of Emergency, it is critical we take appropriate precautions necessary to protect our employees and those in our care and custody. This decision was not made lightly, and we understand the impact that this necessary action will have on the people in our custody and on their families. We are working hand-in-hand with our state and local partners to keep our institutions as healthy as possible. We will resume normal visiting schedules as soon as humanly possible," said Director Colette S. Peters.

DOC is collaborating with our local public health officials, coordinating with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations to prevent the spread COVID-19. DOC Director Colette S. Peters is a member of Oregon Governor Kate Brown's Coronavirus Response Team.

DOC is following OHA's guidance on long-term care facilities and law enforcement recommendations. These changes are to protect AICs who are at the highest risk inside our institutions. DOC's Health Services employees have identified 1,400 AICs who are over 60 years old, immunocompromised, or multiple comorbid medical conditions.

DOC is working with our AIC communications services providers to provide alternatives to in-person visiting at a reduced cost. DOC joins a list of other state corrections agencies that have suspended access. This is the first time DOC has suspended visiting state-wide. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the Flu - March 11, 2020

As the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) continues to take precautionary measures to protect our staff and those in our custody, we ask those entering our facilities to use caution.

  • If you do not feel well, are sick, or have flu-like symptoms – you may wish to utilize other means of contacting your loved ones – telephone, video visits, electronic messaging, etc.
  • Visitors are encouraged to check the visiting website for status updates.
  • We apologize for any inconvenience.

For more information, please visit the Oregon Health Authority's website.

El Departamento de Correcciones de Oregon está tomando medidas preventivas para proteger a nuestros empleados y a los encarcelados. Por esta razón, les pedimos que tengan cuidado cuando visiten a nuestros instituciones.

  • Si no se siente bien, está enfermo, o tiene síntomas similares a los de la gripa, es posible que desee utilizar otros medios para comunicarse con los encarcelados: teléfono, visitas por video, mensajes electrónicos, etc.
  • Recomendamos a los visitantes que visiten el sitio web para obtener información y actualizaciones sobre la visita.
  • Nos disculpamos por cualquier inconveniencia que pueda causar.
Para obtener más información, visite el sitio web de la Autoridad de Salud de Oregon.


Major Changes to the Visiting Rules - July 17, 2019

After a significant multi-year effort by the Visiting Rule Workgroup, Policy and Business Services, and Inmate Services, the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) Visiting Rules (291-127) have received some important updates. These efforts would not have been possible without valuable input from both DOC employees and our visitors. The changes are meant to simplify daily operations for visiting, and support connections between adults in custody and their loved ones. 

We have outlined some of the changes below, and the Rule Change Summary document provides a side-by-side comparison of the previous and new rules. We also suggest you take some time to read all of the rules to better understand the changes.

  • Adults in custody are now permitted an unlimited number of approved visitors on their visiting lists.
  • Approved visitors will automatically be placed on the AIC’s visiting list. The individual needs to respond only if they want the visitor removed from their list.
  • Visitors who have not visited in the past 2 years will be removed, and the visitor will need to submit a new application.
  • Dresses, skirts, jumpers, culottes, and shorts are permitted if they are worn at knee level or lower when standing.
  • Visitors can bring in $20 in change or bank cards if authorized by the institution for the vending machines.
Family connectivity is part of DOC's primary business strategy, and research shows this connectivity is vital to an individual’s success after they are released from prison. As an agency, we continuously work on improvements and enhancements to increase those connections, while maintaining the safety and security of our institutions. We believe these changes reflect that work.

Please feel free to read our Visiting Guidelines page or contact your facility with any questions.

Counselor Caseload Changes - June 1, 2019

The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) is in the middle of making a significant shift in the role of an institution counselor. Counselors are moving from a place of making referrals to a place of becoming a direct service provider. They are providing cognitive interventions to the highest risk individuals in custody.

Counselors use the Automated Criminal Risk Score (ACRS) to determine who they serve on their caseloads. That will remain the same, but the cutoff scores counselors currently use are changing. This comes with some consequences and means many individuals who need intensive case management services will not receive services. Instead, they will be added to a case bank caseload. However, they will continue to receive other services provided, such as cognitive programming and alcohol and drug treatment, through our contracted treatment providers. 

The adjusted ACRS cutoff, unfortunately, will be different at some institutions. DOC had to adjust the cutoff based on institution capacity because counselor staffing is different at each institution. 

Institution ACRS Low Supervision ACRS Medium-High Supervision
SRCI, OSP, TRCI, EOCI .01 - .24 .25 and higher
OSCI .01 - .34 .35 and higher
CRCI, DRCI, PRCF, SCCI, SCI, SRCM, TRCM .01 - .34 .35 and higher
WCCF .01 - .39 .40 and higher
MCCF, SFFC .01 - .49 .50 and higher
CCCF, CCCM .01 - .19 .20 and higher
 
The new ACRS cutoffs will be implemented on July 1, 2019 at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and on June 1, 2019 for all other institutions.



Need help with the new phone system?

Visit the CenturyLink website for all the details on DOC's transition to this new phone system for adults in custody.

You can also call (888) 506-8407 for assistance or send an email to customer support.

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