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Our History


The Department of Corrections (DOC), operates under the authority of ORS 423, is responsible for the central administration of state correctional institutions. The mission of DOC is to reduce the risk of criminal conduct through a partnership with communities, with a continuum of community supervision, incarceration, sanctions and services to manage offender behavior. The fundamental value in the continuum of probation, prison and parole is the principle that the least restrictive method be used to manage offender behavior, consistent with public safety.
For over a century Oregon made do with a single prison, beginning with the Oregon Territory Jail in Oregon City, founded in 1842. After a fire in 1846, and a short stint in Portland, the Oregon State Penitentiary was opened in Salem in the 1850s.
DOC has custody of adults sentenced to prison for more than 12 months. Today, Oregon has 12 state run prisons housing approximately 12,000 adults in custody. DOC employs approximately 4,450 people, a little more than half of those employees are security staff.  Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) opened in 2002, Columbia River Correctional Institution (CRCI) opened in 1990, Deer Ridge Correctional Institution (DRCI) opened in 2007, Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) opened in 1985, Mill Creek Correctional Facility (MCCF) opened in 1929, Oregon Corrections Intake Center (OCIC) opened in 1991, Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI) opened in 1959, Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP) opened in 1866, Powder River Correctional Facility (PRCF) opened in 1989, Santiam Correctional Institution (SCI) opened in 1977, Shutter Creek Correctional Institution (SCCI) opened in 1990, Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI) opened in 1991, South Fork Forest Camp (SFFC) opened in 1951, Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) opened in 1999 and Warner Creek Correctional Facility (WCCF) opened in 2005. The State of Oregon does not use private prisons and in 2001, outlawed the practice of exporting state prisons to other states. 

Chronology | Years: 1851-1994

1851 - Oregon State Penitentiary established in Portland.
1862 - Governor designated as superintendent of the State Penitentiary.
1864 - Laws adopted authorizing the Governor to appoint a superintendent of Penitentiary. Funds appropriated to purchase a site in                   Salem for ~SP and an insane asylum.
1866 - State Penitentiary relocated to Salem.
1883 - Stove factory using convict labor under contract.
1910 - Penitentiary making bricks for sale and to build state institutions.
1911 - State Parole Board established.
1913 - State Penitentiary placed under supervision of new State Board of Control.
1914 - Capital punishment abolished.
1915 - Flax mill established at Penitentiary.
1917 - State Lime Board established to oversee Lime Plant operation at asp.
1920 - Capital punishment reinstated by vote of the people.
1929 - Annex Farm facility established as the State Training School under asp.
1931 - Lime Board abolished and responsibilities transferred to Agriculture Department.
1932 - First cell block built.
1937 - Law passed permitting Board of Control to employ prisoners on state-owned land.
1947 - Laws established for the parole of prisoners.
1948 - Cannery industry started at Penitentiary.
1951 - Minimum security prisoners employed in Tillamook Bum to fight fires and plant trees.
1953 - Manufacture and sale of prisoner's articles of handiwork allowed. Law established reduction of sentences for
            good  behavior.
1955 - Flax plant operation discontinued. Oregon State Correctional Institution established.
1965 - Oregon Women's Correctional Center becomes operational. Corrections Division established under the Board of Control to                        operate ~SP and other penal and correctional institutions.
1969 - Board of Control abolished. Corrections Division responsibility moved to Governor's Office. Penitentiary Industries Advisory                       Committee established. A Special Management Unit opened to provide psychological services to inmates.
1971 - Corrections Division responsibility moved to Department of Human Resources.
1987 - Corrections Division became the Department of Corrections.
1991 - Intensive Management Unit opened to house maximum security prisoners.
1994 - Measure 17 mandated that state prison inmates work or receive on-the-job training 40 hours per week.