Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Employee Duty to Report & Expectations
OYA expects its staff to uphold the highest standards of public service, to report illegal or unethical behavior, and to ensure that a Code of Silence is never a part of OYA culture.

Duty to Report
In public safety agencies the term, “Code of Silence” is used to describe the unspoken rule that encourages employees to lend a “blind eye,” a “deaf ear” and a “mute tongue” to unethical, immoral or improper actions on the part of others.  The code is an invisible barrier to the free flow of communication.  It leads to an unsafe environment, injuries and lawsuits.  It also costs otherwise good employees their jobs, reputations and livelihoods. 
We all recognize that it is natural for bonds of friendship and camaraderie to develop among people working together.  However, some people take those bonds too far, and see loyalty to their co-workers as having higher value than their professional responsibilities to their peers and the people of the State of Oregon.   This is not right.  The Code of Silence is a form of corruption.  It is a corruption that begins with one person and spreads both in its severity and the number of people involved.  The OYA’s Principles of Conduct and the Code of Silence cannot coexist.  The Code of Silence is nota time-honored tradition.  It is a hindrance to safe, sound and secure juvenile correctional operations and it demeans each of us as juvenile correction professionals.

Policies Related to Employee Conduct
It may be difficult to report a fellow staff person’s wrongdoing.  Nevertheless, this is a part of what it means to be a juvenile correction professional at OYA.
With this in mind, OYA would like to make very clear the expectations for the conduct of every employee, contractor and volunteer of the Oregon Youth Authority regarding the reporting of illegal or unethical behavior.

Principles of Conduct
Policy # 0-2.0
Report illegal and unethical behavior and ensure a Code of Silence is never a part of OYA culture.
Professional Standards
Policy # 0-2.1
Within the scope of employment, each staff is obligated to promptly report to the proper authority: (1) Any unlawful acts. (2) Acts that pose an immediate threat to the safety, security and welfare of staff, offenders or the public.  (3) Violations of rules, regulations, policies and procedures involving the agency or observed while on-duty.
Ofender Rights
Policy # II-F-1.0
Staff witnessing use of any type or form of corporal or unusual punishment must prepare a written report of the incident and forward to their immediate supervisor and a copy to the facility Treatment Manager or local Parole/Probation Supervisor.
Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse
Policy # 0-2.3

As mandatory reporters, OYA staff are required to report suspected child abuse that comes to their attention both during and outside of work hours to DHS/CPS or law enforcement.  The duty to report suspected child abuse is a 24/7 responsibility.

How to Report
Ideally, reports of illegal or unethical behavior by OYA staff should be reported to your immediate supervisor. (See Policy # l-E-1.0 Sensitive Issue Reporting).  However, the responsibility to report is greater than the responsibility to follow the chain of command.    Therefore, reports of illegal or unethical behavior can be reported directly to a superintendent, field office supervisor, program administrator, other managers, any member of the OYA Executive Team, or to the Professional Standards Office.
All managers and supervisors of the OYA are required to accept and act on any complaint/incident reported to them.
(See Policy # l-E-1.0 Sensitive Issue Reporting)

Employee Expectations
The Oregon Youth Authority values excellence in public service, partnerships with local communities and other agencies, openness and accountability, and provision of service in a fair, respectful, and humane manner.  As a state agency, the OYA, its staff, and volunteers serve as “public officials.”  Public service is a public trust, requiring staff to place loyalty to laws and ethical practices.

Following are links to OYA policies that define the goals, objectives and expectations of the agency as it relates to employee conduct.  OYA expects each and every employee to adhere to and demonstrate these values and standards.  These policies must be referenced and followed by OYA staff in order to know and understand what must be done, why it must be done, how it must be done, and when it must be donein reference to satisfactory performance and the duties and responsibilities of each OYA staff member. 

OYA's Professional Standards Office

Home Page