The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) was created by the 64th Legislative Assembly in June 1987 and operates under ORS chapter 423. The Oregon Constitution was amended in November 1996 to say, "Laws for the punishment of crimes shall be founded on these principles: protection of society, personal responsibility, accountability for one’s actions and reformation."
DOC’s mission echoes the Oregon constitution: To promote public safety by holding offenders accountable for their actions and reducing the risk of future criminal behavior. DOC protects public safety, holds offenders accountable, and requires them to take personal responsibility – both for their crimes and for their behavior within DOC institutions. And DOC allows for rehabilitation or reformation through programs and services. This combination ultimately contributes to successful reintegration back to society.
The department has custody of adults sentenced to prison for more than 12 months, housing approximately 14,900 adults in 14 state prisons throughout the state. DOC is recognized nationally among correctional agencies for providing individuals with the cognitive, education, and job skills needed to become productive citizens when they transition back to their communities. As a result of these efforts, Oregon’s recidivism rate has decreased.
To further focus on safe communities, safe prisons, and a safe workplace, the department created the Oregon Accountability Model. This business strategy is designed to change criminal behavior – during incarceration and post-prison supervision – using evaluation, education, treatment, work, family engagement, and evidence-based community supervision practices. It begins at the assessment phase during intake and impacts individuals throughout incarceration, reintegration, and community supervision. It is inspired by the department’s mission of public safety, accountability, and crime prevention.
DOC also provides administrative oversight and funding for the community corrections activities of Oregon’s 36 counties. All but two of Oregon’s counties (Linn and Douglas) manage the supervision of offenders in those counties who are subject to jail, parole, post-prison supervision, or probation. DOC’s community corrections division provides interstate compact administration and jail inspections, as well as central information and data services regarding felons statewide.
The department’s culture is driven by a set of strong core values: integrity and professionalism, dignity and respect; safety and wellness; fact-based decision making; positive change; honoring our history; and stewardship. DOC adopted a shared vision that includes: valuing employee wellness, engaging employees, operating safe facilities, implementing innovative business practices, preparing offenders for reentry, and partnering with stakeholders. Department staff are actively involved in their communities, serving on commissions, participating in volunteer organizations, coaching kids’ teams, and otherwise giving their time to enhance the quality of life for all Oregonians.
The mission of the Oregon Department of Corrections is to promote public safety by holding offenders accountable for their actions and reducing the risk of future criminal behavior.
- Valuing Employee Wellness
- Engaging Employees
- Operating Safe Facilities
- Implementing Innovative Business Practices
- Preparing Offenders for Reentry
- Partnering with Our Stakeholders
- Integrity and Professionalism
- Dignity and Respect
- Safety and Wellness
- Fact Based Decision Making
- Positive Change
- Honoring Our History