Posted By: DreamingCode Admin

Trevor Walraven


Because he was so young when he entered the system, he wasn't really starting over – he was simply starting.

Trevor became involved with drugs at an early age. By age 14, he committed a crime and was sentenced as an adult. He spent his first two years of incarceration in county juvenile facilities, followed by six months in county jail. He spent the next three years at an Oregon Youth Authority facility, where he studied and earned his high school diploma before transferring to DOC to finish his life sentence. A little more than one year later, Trevor was housed at Oregon State Penitentiary and applied for an OCE assignment. He worked in the Laundry as a production worker before moving to the maintenance section to further develop some of his natural mechanical skills. He learned a lot from OCE staff and his AIC lead worker. Trevor knew he wanted a career and worked as many hours as possible to learn all he could, including maintenance time in the OCE Laundry, Furniture Factory, and Metal Shop. When his AIC mentor released, Trevor moved into the lead position and began mentoring other AICs. Later, he transferred into a clerk position where he tracked maintenance activities and parts inventories, along with various other dutie

Trevor felt support from several sources along the way. He had great family support throughout his sentence. Because he showed his intention to improve, OCE supported his learning by coaching, mentoring, and adjusting his schedule so he could attend college classes. While attending a DOC College Inside/Out class, he learned a phrase that altered his life: “Once you know, you owe." Knowing what his actions had taken from people before his incarceration, he knew he had to start giving back.

He applied for a "Second Look" review hearing for juveniles convicted of Measure 11 crimes that takes place after half of the sentence has been served. Advocates at the hearing included OCE staff and DOC officers, as well as family. When the judge announced Trevor would be released in 45 days, he had to transition quickly for release. His post-prison supervision started with close supervision and an ankle bracelet. Because he was so young when he entered the system, he wasn't really starting over – he was simply starting. Now he had to figure out how to be successful.

With connections through his family, he was hired to work for a staffing company, where he interviewed potential workers identified their skill sets. He started moving forward when life took a different turn. His original conviction was vacated, and Trevor was sent to county custody for 12 weeks, DOC Intake for two weeks, and OSP for three days. A new judge reviewed the Second Look ruling, Trevor's parole officer advocated for him, and the early release was awarded again.

Life has been more challenging after his second release than after his first, but Trevor is not afraid of challenges. While he has secured a job with a long commute, he is still committed to giving back. He is often asked to share his story with others. He is working with DOC and the staffing company who gave him a chance to help connect them with AICs releasing to the company's service area. Now that he knows the process, his goal is to help ease the transition of as many AICs as he can. Why? “Once you know, you owe."

When OCE staff asked Trevor what OCE could do to improve people's chances, Trevor asked OCE to inform staffing agencies about the types of workers being released and connect with AICs to tell them which staffing agencies to apply to. While OCE has previously connected with a staffing agency, OCE intends to expand its efforts to reach more people.

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