Monday, 08/21/23

The Dangerous State of Oregon's Only Women's Prison

"We are all implicated when we allow others to be mistreated."

--Bryan Stevenson

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A new report by the Women's Justice Project (WJP) has brought to light a distressing reality that has long been hidden within the confines of Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) - Oregon's only women's prison. The report features stories of inmates incarcerated at CCCF, offering a stark glimpse into an environment marked by suffering, despair, and allegations of worsening conditions.

The WJP report reveals a deeply ingrained culture within CCCF that has a profound impact on daily operations and the lives of inmates. The culture is characterized by degradation, punitive measures, unpredictability, and emotional strain. This environment takes a toll on inmates' mental and physical well-being, hampering their rehabilitation efforts and reintegration into society.

The accounts shared by AICs recount various aspects of this culture, from the ongoing threat of sexual abuse by correctional officers to demeaning treatment and verbal abuse by staff. Disciplinary practices are described as arbitrary and excessively punitive, often resulting in severe consequences that hinder inmates' progress. In addition, safety concerns are raised, including extreme temperatures, poor quality food, and hazardous furniture.

The urgency and hope expressed by CCCF inmates reflect a desire to shed light on their plight and potentially ignite change. Their narratives highlight the disparities between the prison environment and the broader community, sparking conversations about the need for reform.

By acknowledging these issues and demanding change, we can work toward creating a correctional system that respects the dignity and humanity of every individual, regardless of their circumstances. Through informed conversations and collective efforts, we can envision a future where CCCF and similar institutions prioritize rehabilitation, safety, and the potential for successful reintegration into society.

Changing Patterns is a nonprofit organization that works to assist citizens returning home from incarceration to become healthy, well-respected members of their families and productive members of our communities.

Tuesday, 08/22/23

Suicide Risk in Prison Rises Alongside Temperatures, Highlighted in Oregon

"It was so hot in here –the airflow in the unit was turned off – we were all screaming and yelling. It was horrible."

--Woman incarcerated in CCCF

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Extreme heat is not only a concern for the general population but also poses a unique and grave risk to incarcerated individuals, particularly those suffering from behavioral health conditions. The United States holds over 2.1 million incarcerated people, a disproportionately high number of whom experience mental health challenges. Suicide, sadly, stands as one of the leading causes of death within the prison population. A recent study conducted in a Deep South US prison system sheds light on the alarming connections between extreme heat, solitary confinement, and the prevalence of suicidal behaviors among incarcerated men.

The study's results illuminate a stark and disturbing connection between extreme heat and suicide incidents within the prison system. Compared to days with temperatures ranging between 60 and 69°F, the rate of daily suicide incidents surged by 36% when reaching extreme caution levels (90-103°F)...Keep reading.

Thursday, 08/24/23

"The quality of your future is determined by what you personally commit to today."

--The Returning Citizens Survival Guide

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We all yearn for change in some aspect of our lives at one point or another. Whether it's breaking free from harmful habits, pursuing a long-held dream, or simply striving to become a better version of ourselves, change is a constant companion on our journey. But how do we make those changes stick? The answer lies in the power of...Keep Reading.

Our Mission

To assist returning citizens in successfully navigating the barriers and obstacles of re-entry from incarceration.

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