OCE’s Contributions to Oregon
Satisfying Citizens’ Expectations
Oregon’s Constitution requires inmates to be involved in productive work. Inmate work is a key component of the Oregon Accountability Model, an initiative of the Oregon Department of Corrections. Work programs help the department hold inmates accountable for their actions and provide a foundation to lead successful lives upon release.
Creating Oregon Jobs
In providing work programs for inmates; OCE also provides jobs for over a 100 Oregon citizens. These employees earned $7.7 million in salaries and benefits during the last fiscal year. These earnings support their families, pay state and federal taxes, and contribute to Oregon’s economy. Through purchases of raw materials and equipment, OCE also helps to support many other Oregon private sector companies.
Reducing Costs to Oregon Taxpayers
Inmates manufacture beds, clothing, cell furniture, and many other items for Oregon’s prisons. OCE also provides low-cost services such as printing, telecommunications, and laundry service to various other state agencies, helping to reduce the cost of government.
Contributing to Public Safety
When inmates have productive activities to occupy their time, Oregon’s prisons are safer. Last year, OCE inmates worked approximately 1.6 million man-hours, providing an important positive impact on reducing prison misconduct.
OCE strives to balance the interests of private sector businesses with its constitutional mandate to engage inmates in meaningful work. Through business partnerships and mutually beneficial relationships, OCE works with the private sector to add value to their products and services by meeting their need for a stable, skilled workforce. To train the greatest number of inmates, OCE pursues labor-intensive processes. By contrast, the private sector typically avoids these types of activities, favoring technological alternatives to accomplish their work.
Benefiting the Citizens of Oregon
At OCE, we endeavor to keep as many inmates working as financially possible. While we maintain our commitment to maximize inmate work assignments, our constitutional mandate also requires that we operate with self-sufficiency. Over1,100 inmates work in OCE programs throughout Oregon. In the past year, these inmates were paid just under $2 million in awards for their labor. Inmates contribute part of these earnings toward meeting their obligations for child support, state and federal taxes, court-imposed fines, and victim’s assistance funds. Many inmates also help to support their families by sending home a portion of their earnings.
Contributing to the Economy
OCE purchases a wide array of materials, equipment, and services from Oregon private-sector vendors whenever possible. These purchases totaled $6 million in fiscal year 2009.
Helping Reduce Recidivism
A person who is able to earn an honest living is less likely to commit future crimes. When offenders commit new crimes and return to prison, everyone pays—the victims of repeat offenders, the children and families of these offenders, and taxpayers. Studies conducted by the Federal Bureau of Prisons on how correctional industry programs affect inmate recidivism show that work skills play a significant role in reducing the possibility of an offender returning to prison. Inmates who worked in prison industries or completed vocational and apprenticeship programs were are likely to recidivate than non-program participants and are more likely to find gainful employment.
Testimonials from the Community
OCE has been a wonderful partner for CJA (Children’s Justice Alliance). CJA’s mission is to improve outcomes for children whose parents are involved in the criminal justice system, which includes helping their parents find stable employment and housing. We value the work OCE does to help inmates gain skills and experience that will help them achieve employment and self-sufficiency post-release. Supporting an inmate’s successful re-entry ultimately impacts families and communities.
CJA is also grateful for OCE’s generous in kind donations to our Centers for Family Success. OCE’s support helps CJA to continue its work developing parenting and family violence prevention programs, providing advocacy and family stabilization services, and creating systemic change.
Lauren D. Booth
Children's Justice Alliance
Dear Friends at Oregon Corrections Enterprises,
Oregon Food Bank extends sincere gratitude for your gift of 950 pounds of canvas bags…Your generosity will make a difference in the lives of hungry people in Oregon and Clark County, Washington.
Distribution of emergency food boxes through the Oregon Food Bank Network skyrocketed to historic highs in the last fiscal year, jumping to 897,000 – an increase of 13%. This unprecedented increase has a human face; more than 240,000 people ate meals from an emergency food box during 2008-09, including 85,000 children.
Because of your generous contribution, Oregon Food Bank has been able to meet this staggering demand for food. Each dollar of your contribution allows OFB to move five points of food throughout the OFB Network, reaching hungry people from Astoria to Ontario.
You can learn more about hunger in your community, what Oregon Food Bank is doing to help, and other ways you can help by visiting our website at www.oregonfoodbank.org.
Again, thank you for your generous donation…because no one should be hungry.
Chief Executive Officer
Oregon Food Bank
On behalf of the staff and clients of Lutheran Community Services Northwest, we would like to thank you for your support of our programs. Your recent gift of children’s furniture for our child therapy program is greatly appreciated.
The children who visit our office every day have put the furniture to immediate use. It seems a good way for inmates working for OCE to help provide healing to the next generation. We appreciate the care, craftsmanship and attention to detail that so clearly was put into these unique pieces of furniture and art.
Jordan Robinson, MSSW, CSWA
Lutheran Community Services Northwest Director
Caryn Flint, MA