Gold Beach, OR—Today, Governor Tina Kotek announced that her administration will assemble an Advisory Panel on Gender Responsive Practices in Corrections to discuss and implement the findings of a Gender Informed Practices Assessment (GIPA) recently completed. In addition to the panel, the Governor has directed the Department of Corrections (DOC) to determine immediate actions that they can take without additional resources in response to the findings of the report within 60 days.
“In the wake of national, systemic shortcomings in meeting the needs of women who are incarcerated, I am resolved to confront these issues head on,” Governor Kotek said. “The GIPA report was sobering to read. It is incumbent on Oregon’s corrections system to ensure that the use of carceral settings yield the best possible public safety outcomes and set people up for successful re-entry. I am eager to convene this panel, lean into the findings of the GIPA, see immediate steps from DOC to improve conditions, and help ensure corrections staff get the training and support they need to do their jobs as effectively as possible.”
The assessment was funded by HB 5202, which was passed by the Oregon state legislature in 2022, in response to the recommendations of a multi-stakeholder Gender Responsive Work Group. The GIPA findings range from partnering with community organizations to employee training to expanding program access – specifically, strengths, challenges, and opportunities to improve gender responsive policies, practices, and programs at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF).
The Governor’s office has worked in collaboration with DOC over the past few months to use preliminary GIPA findings to inform the development of the advisory panel. The panel is charged with partnering with DOC to develop a strategic plan for implementing the recommendations set forth in the GIPA, including identifying necessary resources and developing policy proposals. Its work will be guided by input from women and people impacted by the criminal justice system, their families, and representatives from stakeholder agencies and organizations. The panel will provide information and advice to the Governor on the status of implementing evidence-based, trauma-informed, and gender-responsive practices at CCCF and throughout Oregon’s criminal justice system.
The group will generate periodic status updates, including information regarding existing barriers to successful implementation as well as proposed solutions to effectively address those challenges. The panel’s membership will be announced at a later date. The panel will convene for their first meeting on September 7.
“The Department of Corrections is actively working on next steps to attend to the recommendations in this report,” Acting DOC Director Heidi Steward said. “Since CCCF’s opening in 2001, research into – and the understanding of – women’s unique needs have evolved, and we look forward to maturing our programs and services.”
The full GIPA report can be found here.