11 thoughts on “Deer Ridge Correctional Facility: home, not-so-sweet home

  1. I really enjoyed this post, especially the “examples in this post” portion which made it really easy for me to SEE what you were talking about without even having to leave the article. Thanks

  2. I was a inmate out at drci and its really not that great place to do time .Due to buget problems they add about 100 extra “emergence beds” making a prison for holding less than 600 swell beyond its compasity the food budget got no bigger with the extra people.They are slashing almost all programs they have no full time plumbers or welders.They also have no HVAC crew so when the heaters break its some times days without heat. If things need done they wait till there is so many problems that they cant ignor it any longer.The medical out there is a joke they dont do much.I had a case of celulitus on my leg but for over a week the doctor did nothing they waited till I released.Dr.Christopher digilio rarely sees people unless you continusly make your self a nusence or you are about to have some serius medical complications that could be life threatening.all in all it waas a very crappy expience to be there.Then you have the staff who still try to treat like it was not a min security instatution.half of those officers couldnt make it at regular prison.Some that is the reason they are there.Some are ther because they have been assulted because they were disrespectful to inmates.they have like 26 sargents out there.I mean really how many do you need to run a min facility.I wonder how much it costs to have that many there?
    However the education dept. was exellent they have a open door policy so if you want to learn you can go do it without to much resriction. Dr.yeager, Ms weeks ,Ms korner ,Ms bowman are top notch and truely seem to be there to help people!

  3. Sorry you had a rough time Johnny, stop breaking the law and you have have to worry about being locked up.

  4. I can’t argue the general populous’ view-point as far as the whole, “If its so bad-a-place, don’t go there!”
    However, keeping in mind that we’re not SUPPOSED to want to be there. It doesn’t have to mean we should treat all of the inmates like trash and further encourage the spite that inevitably builds up between inmates and corrections officers. for the record, i met some great people while i was living there. (I was there from the day it first opened, helped get the place ready for more inmates and i lived there for 1.5 years)
    of those aforementioned “nice officers” a handful of them would be; CO Stevens,
    Sergeant Platerro, Sergeant Sampson and a few other whose names I can’t seem to recall. (sorry if I butchered your name Platerro) These officers are the few badge-wearing people that allowed me to have any faith in officers as a whole.
    With that said, the’re are most definately officers that give the rest a bad name. I will refrain from listing any of these “other” officers. but the fact that they treat “US” bad makes us want nothing more than to disrespect them in-turn.
    and before i leave this post, i would like to point something out…
    The total project cost is approximately $190 million, which includes construction, studies, design, property and easement purchases, and infrastructure improvements for public services.” that is a quote from the DoC website stating the total bill for that facilities construction. however when i helped open it in 2007, to this date, 4 years later the larger and more “important” medium custody facility still is not running. so for all of those who think that slapping a new prison down on every open space of earth is going to solve all of the criminalistic problems of the world… im sorry to say that putting a handful of men behind a fence and leaving them to be treated horribly, only to then be gifted back to society, will NOT make the men and in-turn, society a better place to live.

  5. While I have not been incarcerated, I know somebody who has. He/she has explained a lot about what goes on in prisons. I understand that DOC has GED programs for inmates which is great. However, getting an GED isn’t enough to get a job upon release. Other educational opportunities need to be available for ALL inmates that are going to be eventually released. In response to “If it’s such a bad place, don’t go there,” the issue is that many people do go there but most will eventually be released with many issues, including no job skills. Therefore, many return to the life of crime and back to prison. It would better for communities if there were sufficient educational opportunities for inmates so that they can become productive and law-abiding citizens.

  6. O.K. folks, here is the skinny… I was an inmate at DRCI. I fully realize prison is a place to go when one breaks the law. I completely agree that the prison experience should be anything but “exciting”. I do not deny as a civilized society we need somewhere for the “unmanageable”. Just imagine this please: District attorneys need convictions. Convictions are what help ensure funding. Prison is one of the most lucrative industries in America right now. That is a fact. Yet we see the word “cutback” every day in the news. Prison Cutbacks. There will not be any cutbacks in prisons until America wakes up and realizes that minimum camps are simply housing sites for individuals that should either be in Medium facilities or not in prison at all. I did not even meet one individual that could honestly say that he was being re-habilitated at Deer Ridge Correctional Institution. Not one. DRCI is housing for the majority of our “sex offender” beefs here in Oregon. It is a safe house for them. Deer Ridge specializes on maintaining their safety in comparison to other Oregon Prisons. If you look at the general population’s charges you will be stunned at the ratio of sexual predators vs. non sexual predators that Deer Ridge houses. Yet, there is not even one form of counseling for them. Let alone psychiatric help. not even one. Although it is a minimum facility, Deer Ridge is no day camp. Regardless of what you may read about it. It is prison, however your tax dollars are going to waste each day as it costs over 30k annually to house these convicts. These men are receiving little or no counseling/help on how to learn to better their lives. I was there about 7 months on a domestic violence charge. I did not even meet my counselor one time. Not one time. When I requested to meet her she denied me that opportunity. There is one 6 month long program that certain inmates are required to take. Inmates that take this course are segregated from the general population and from what I did see do learn some skills to adapt back into the “outside” world. However, if your ACRE score is not high enough you will not be eligible for the program. Deer Ridge is a money pit. The place did reminded me of Marine Corps boot camp and the only differences are that inmates are regarded as less human by society and the guards are only there for a paycheck. There were a few exceptions to that last statement, but only a few. If you think that your hard earned tax dollars are going to any real rehabilitation of Oregon inmates please look at the recidivism rate of the inmates that leave DRCI. All prisons are a revolving door and that is a fact, but don’t believe the hype. Deer Ridge inmates receive little to no one on one counseling that will actually give them direction at a fresh start. Hey… don’t go on what I say, I am a convicted felon. We all know felons blow smoke 🙂 Check it out for yourself. Then contact your congressman and senator and demand for them to immediately release those that never should have gone to state prison in the first place and in doing so make room for the sex offenders, drug dealers and thieves that are attacking your friends and families. Its your money that keeps the lights on 7 days a week, 365 days a year at DRCI’s medium facility which is 600000 square feet and completely empty. Keep in mind, there is not even one inmate in the Medium section of DRCI. I get a strong sense that ODOC thinks it is more important to keep that unoccupied portion of the prison well lit rather than to invest in counseling/rehabilitatoin for our Oregon inmates. Again…check it out for yourself, I am a convicted felon.

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