We at Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE) are disappointed that OHSU has chosen to discontinue our partnership of over 20 years. Our partnership over the last two decades has allowed OCE to serve OHSU’s world class hospital staff and patients, while at the same time providing meaningful work and training opportunities for adults in custody who voluntarily apply for and participate in OCE programs. Adults in custody that voluntarily participate in our laundry program, also in all other programs, have earned our respect and they take pride in what they do for our community.
Through community partnerships, OCE is able to provide a variety of skill building programs for incarcerated men and women that they can choose to participate in. OCE programs provide many valuable and needed opportunities for adults in custody. These include: work skills, soft skills, certifications, training, and performance rewards that adults in custody can use to be self-sustaining, reimburse victims, send money to family, purchase goods and save for release. OCE greatly values our community partnerships that support the continuation of these programs which are statistically proven to reduce an individual's re-incarceration rate, and better prepare them for their reentry into society. For those that have shown interest in learning more about our OCE programs, we invite you behind the scenes! Incarcerated adults would love to share with you first-hand about their experience participating in these programs, and the positive platform for change it has provided for them.
Recent societal events have brought focus to inequitable resources provided to individuals in our communities. OCE is evaluating the state’s efforts and will work toward ensuring our offerings align with what is right for our participants and our state.
**Updated May 8, 2020**
As we navigate this world-wide pandemic, Oregon Corrections Enterprises wants to assure you we are planning for success regarding continuity of operations. We are constantly striving to improve our plans and are using all resources available to us to do so. We already have a robust backup plan, but now that it is available, we have collaborated with the State of Oregon Emergency Management team to make sure we have tertiary and emergency backup plans as well. We have always maintained solid partnerships where we have the ability to help other laundry facilities meet their customer needs, and they have the ability to help us. If COVID-19 affects our ability to use our primary workforce, and if the backup plan is also affected by COVID-19, we have a tertiary plan and are working on a fourth plan. We want you to know we understand the importance of the laundry services to our community and we are taking extraordinary measures to ensure our continuity of operations.
We take the health and safety of the adults in custody (AICs) and our staff seriously. OCE’s commitment to public safety includes controlling the spread of viruses and infections within the AIC population, staff, and the greater community. OCE is currently serving 33 customers in the health care industry, including public and privately operated hospitals across the state.
At this time the CDC is not recommending any changes to the current processing standards for the commercial laundry industry. According to the CDC, there is a higher risk of exposure with close direct person-to-person contact than with indirect contact of potentially contaminated objects (such as laundry). OCE continues to utilize standard/universal precautions in the handling and processing of all contaminated materials for staff and adult in custody workers. To decrease risk to AICs and staff, we have increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting of our laundry facilities. By OCE’s invitation, the facilities at OSP were inspected this month by an Infectious Disease Control team from a large Oregon Hospital customer. During the post-inspection debrief no major concerns were identified, only minor adjustments.
The Association of Linen Management recently released a statement on COVID-19 and resources for healthcare laundries and their customers. This release reiterates the processing of linen according to standard/universal precautions.
Please see the OCE Laundry Issue Brief; and supplemental Laundry – Infectious Disease Control Issue Brief for more information about OCE’s laundry operations and practices. As we have done since 1989, OCE continues to focus its efforts on providing quality economic laundry service to the health care industry.
Oregon Corrections Enterprises has begun manufacturing utility masks, made of 100% cotton at Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) for the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC). The mask was designed to reduce the amount of droplets from a person’s cough or sneeze in consultation with the ODOC medical doctors. OCE will produce 30,000 masks for use by ODOC for employees and adults in custody within the institutions to reduce the spread of potential contagions in the facilities.
Beyond the utility masks, OCE is working to produce masks and gowns intended to meet medical standards requiring certifications, including American National Standards Institute/Association of the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (ANSI/AAMI). OCE has sourced the correct material to produce the masks and gowns and hopes to make them to be certified and available to the medical community.
FEMA has approached ODOC and offered to work with the FDA and another regulatory agencies to get OCE certified if at all possible. OCE is in communication with ODOC, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Oregon legislature regarding materials, patterns, standards, liabilities, and potential legislation to support these efforts to meaningfully assist in this crisis. OCE is working with our state agencies to mitigate risk to the agency and meet the needs of our state. We hope to hear from the regulatory agencies for direction in the near future. Once approved, OCE’s four sewing operations around the state (EOCI, Two Rivers Correctional Institution, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, and Snake River Correctional Institution (SRCI)) will begin mass producing these vital items.
OCE is working with other correctional industries across the country to share information at a national level on our ability to produce PPE in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The OCE Administrator met with over 40 correctional industries professionals across the nation through the National Correctional Industries Association network, sharing the initiatives, research, and progress in a collaborative effort to address the current crisis. OCE operations have adjusted to meet the needs of our state, below are a few of the other projects we are focused on in order to keep our communities healthy and safe.
"Together, we are changing lives, one opportunity at a time.”The National Correctional Industries Association (NCIA) is an international nonprofit professional association whose members represent federal, state, county, and international Correctional Industry agencies, as well as suppliers and partners in apprenticeship and work programs. The NCIA website states, “Every year, NCIA makes a special effort to acknowledge individuals whose extraordinary skill and leadership in their respective programs improve Correctional Industries as a whole.” These awards are presented in April at the Annual National Training Conference, where organizations come together to learn from each other and make connections which prove invaluable throughout the year. In each of the previous two years, a staff of Oregon Corrections Enterprises (OCE) has received an Honor Roll award: Barbara Cannard in 2016 and Kevin Thompson in 2017. In 2018, OCE was acknowledged once again as staff member Benjamin Noid received an Honor Roll award.
Last summer, NCIA announced a new award category which would acknowledge an agency as a whole. Called the Performance Excellence of the Year Award, the intent was to honor an agency who had excelled over the last three years in at least two of NCIA’s ten listed best practices for Re-entry-Focused Performance Excellence:
Able to show achievement or progress in eight of the ten best practices, OCE was declared the recipient of the first-ever NCIA Performance Excellence of the Year Award. OCE Administrator Ken Jeske accepted the 2018 award on behalf of all of the employees of OCE, its public and private partners, and the adults in custody participating in OCE programs. He concluded his acceptance speech with these words:
“Thank you for acknowledging OCE’s work over the last three years. None of us can do this great work by ourselves. To the adults in custody in our programs and the staff of Oregon Corrections Enterprises and the Oregon Department of Corrections, the OCE Advisory Council, the staff of Mass Ingenuity, and the staff and members of NCIA, I say this award belongs to all of us. Together, we are changing lives, one opportunity at a time.”
Oregon Corrections Enterprises is a semi-independent state agency which operates training programs for adults in custody (AICs) housed within Oregon prisons. OCE teaches marketable technical and soft skills, and it is committed to training AICs to successfully re-enter society. The skills attained help offenders obtain gainful employment, reducing the chances of the person returning to a criminal lifestyle. OCE works to develop second-chance employment relationships with public and private sector organizations.
Oregon Corrections Enterprises is a self-funded, self-sustaining program. It receives no general fund allocations. Proceeds generated are reinvested into the agency to operate and expand training programs for as many adults in custody as possible. The programs are designed to teach current marketable work skills, including the soft skills preferred by most future employers.
State statute requires Oregon Corrections Enterprises to be self-sustaining and does not limit customer demographics. Some states require state government agencies to purchase from their own State Correctional Industries. While encouraged, Oregon does not have this requirement. This means Oregon Corrections Enterprises often competes with the private sector, although most of the competition is with private sector companies located outside of Oregon or the United States. Oregon Corrections Enterprises prefers not to compete with Oregon’s private sector and, in fact, prefers to partner with the local private sector to create second-chance employment opportunities for those participating in the training programs.
All public records requests must be in writing. Please complete the Public Records Request Form and click Submit to forward your request to OCE’s Public Information Officer. You will receive an initial response within five business days. Please note: per ORS 192.502 (30), OCE records of a sensitive business nature may be redacted. OCE follows the Oregon Secretary of State Records Retention Schedules, so records before a certain date may not be available.
Oregon Corrections Enterprises recidivism rate is 13% for an adult in custody who stays in our training program for at least six months. This means only 13% of the participants start a new incarceration cycle in the first three years after release. Similar to the rate experienced by Oregon Department of Corrections, this rate is one of the lowest in the country and rivals that of Norway's Corrections system, considered by some to be one of the most effective in the world.
The adults in custody (AICs) fill out an application for the position in which they are interested. To be considered, AICs must be of good behavior, and also show a strong desire to turn their lives around by learning new skills. To participate in most programs, AICs are required to possess or be actively pursuing a GED. If the minimum qualifications are met, the applicants are interviewed to simulate a real-world environment. To enhance the experience, AICs receive regularly-scheduled performance reviews.
The Oregon Corrections Enterprises team is trained annually in current security methods and procedures. Staff members coordinate and are on site for every delivery and installation.
According to the Oregon Constitution, sales of goods and services produced by adults in custody is not restricted to any market demographic in Oregon. Oregon Corrections Enterprises customers are mostly city, county, and state government entities; non-profits; schools, from elementary to higher education; and tribal governments. In addition to those markets are public and private partnerships with an emphasis on partners who provide second-chance employment opportunities to participants. Oregon Corrections Enterprises sells a minimal number of products to the Oregon general public through its website.
The manufacturing training programs produce both standard and custom products. These products include office and lounge furniture; outdoor furnishings; and fleet equipment. Other programs include upholstery, printing, garments, embroidery, signs, and metal fabrication. The programs also provide training in computer-aided drafting and design (CADD) and computer-numeric controlled (CNC) programming. The service training programs include commercial laundry, contact centers, and digital design. Other services offered include office services, and general services, such as fulfillment. Partnerships bring additional training opportunities, such as analyzing websites (in an off-line environment) for compliance with ADA standards for the visually impaired.
What is OregonBuys? Oregon is moving to a new web-based eProcurement system called OregonBuys. It is replacing the Oregon Procurement Information Network (ORPIN) and will be the statewide eProcurement solution for all state agencies. ORPIN replacement is scheduled for spring 2020, and the website is currently up and forward facing. The Procure-to-Pay functionality is scheduled to begin at the end of this biennium, June 30, 2021.
How will they switch over? The OregonBuys project team will use a phased approach that will begin by replacing the Oregon Procurement Information Network (ORPIN) for all state agencies, Oregon Cooperative Procurement Program members (ORCPP), and vendors. The second phase will rollout additional procure-to-pay functionality (beyond ORPIN) for state agencies. After the completion of these two phases, additional procure-to-pay functionality will be made available to ORCPPs.
Is Oregon Corrections Enterprises part of this change? Yes, OCE is registered with OregonBuys as a vendor and is working directly with the project team and the product vendor to bring OCE products to the new system as they move to eProcurement. OregonBuys plans to follow the DAS Buy Decision when returning product query results. State agencies are being phased into the system, and when OregonBuys is ready to launch eProcurement, OCE will have a host of products, images, prices, and descriptions available to our customers. For the time being, we are continuing our normal processes and ask our customers to reach out to us on our Contact Page, via email, by phone at 800-776-7712 or 503-428-5500, or by contacting an Inside Sales representative or Outside Sales manager.