In 1998, Oregon witnessed a significant shift in its corrections system with the introduction of privately managed correctional facilities.
However, these institutions operated by for-profit entities have been subject to scrutiny and controversy over the years.
Major reasons include safety, security, and inmate well-being. The state has taken decisive action to ban private prisons altogether in response to alarming violations and inmate deaths.
This article gives you an insight into the list of private prisons in the state of Oregon and ban on private prisons.
Private Prisons in Oregon
CoreCivic, previously known as Corrections Corporation of America, established the first private prison in Lakeview, Oregon. Subsequently, other private prisons followed suit, leading to six such facilities across the state in recent years. These private prisons housed about 96,370
Three prominent companies played a crucial role in the private prison landscape of Oregon: CoreCivic, GEO Group, and Management and Training Corporation. Among these, CoreCivic managed four private prisons, including the state's largest one, the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.
The GEO Group operated a separate facility, while the Powder River Correctional Facility was under the jurisdiction of the Management and Training Corporation.
This transformation in Oregon's correctional system impacted the state's approach to incarceration and rehabilitation. Below is the list of privately operated prisons in Oregon and their details in past years.
List Of Private Prison In The State Of Oregon
The Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF)
CoreCivic operated the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in recent years to help manage inmates in Oregon. CCCF was a comprehensive prison designed to accommodate female offenders across Oregon.
The facility had cell and dormitory housing, providing various custody levels to cater to the diverse inmate population.
Aside from intake and evaluation services, Coffee Creek Correctional Facility provided a wide range of programs and facilities to promote rehabilitation. Inmates had access to skill training, educational opportunities, treatment programs, and healthcare services, ensuring their well-being during custody.
The prison also recognized the importance of spirituality, offering religious services to those who seek spiritual guidance. Furthermore, CCCF had a dedicated physical plant and warehouse space for efficient on-site management and storage.
As a significant part of the state's corrections system, CCCF also operated as the intake center for male individuals entering state custody through court orders.
This ensured that all new inmates underwent thorough evaluations and appropriate placement within the prison's custody levels.
CCCF's growth has been remarkable since its establishment, with the opening of its minimum-security facility in October 2001 and the subsequent addition of a medium-security facility in April 2002.
The entire facility spans 108 acres, with an expansive 508,000 square footage inside its walls, enabling it to accommodate the growing needs of the inmate population.
In conclusion, CCCF has been a well-rounded correctional facility that prioritized rehabilitation, education, and support for female inmates. Its dedication to providing various services and resources underscores its commitment to facilitating positive change in the lives of those in its care.
Powder River Correctional Facility
The Management and Training Corporation operated the Powder River Correctional Facility in Baker City, Oregon that could accommodate up to 286 inmates. It was a dynamic establishment that housed a mix of custody levels, including Level II and Level IV inmates.
Comprising well-designed units, the facility had two Level II and Level IV sections, two segregation units, and a well-managed general population unit. The facility had unmatched security with fences having state-of-the-art electronic detection systems.
Furthermore, the prison had five vigilant armed guard towers and patrol vehicles to ensure the facility remained secure.
While incarcerated, inmates at the Powder River Correctional Facility had opportunities to better themselves through a variety of programs. They could enroll in GED courses, participate in pre-release programs, or receive essential treatment for substance abuse, anger management, and parenting education.
This forward-thinking facility offered its inmates diverse courses, including business skills and financial planning. The Powder River Correctional Facility was committed to fostering growth and rehabilitation, providing inmates hope for a brighter future.
Oregon's Private Prisons' Future
Since the 1980s, the emergence of private prisons faced strong opposition from AFSCME members. These for-profit institutions have been criticized for exploiting human beings, endangering workers, and putting entire communities at risk.
AFSCME members have consistently raised their union voice against this abnormal industry.
AFSCME members approved resolutions denouncing private prisons in 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1996, 1998, 2004, 2014, and 2016 at various international conventions. Their stance against the profit-driven incarceration system remains unwavering.
Laura Barnes is an AFSCME member working at a state-run correctional facility in New Mexico; she has experienced both sides of the system.
However, Barnes began her career in a prison owned by the Correction Corporation of America (CCA), now known as CoreCivic—one of the largest private prison companies in the United States.
According to Laura, private prisons often fail to prioritize safety, putting correctional officers, staff, and inmates at risk. This raises serious concerns about the overall functioning and ethics of these privately-run institutions.
AFSCME members' opposition to such practices continues to be resolute as they advocate for the well-being of both workers and inmates.
The Oregon Department of Corrections
The Oregon Department of Corrections operates multiple facilities, categorized from Level 1 to Level 4, each catering to distinct security levels, staff supervision, and inmate programs. Level 1 prisons are the lowest-security prisons with level 4 being the highest security.
Their primary goal is to ensure a safe and secure environment within each facility while focusing on rehabilitation and personal development for the inmates.
The department tailors its services to meet the unique requirements and challenges of various security levels, providing appropriate care and support. Each security level comprises an adequate set of staff and security services to keep the inmates under control.
Some correctional facilities in the US also follow a no security approach where the inmates follow the rules voluntarily.
By offering different staff supervision and programming levels, they aim to address the diverse needs of incarcerated individuals and encourage their growth and progress.
Following the ban on Private prisons in Oregon state, the Oregon Department of Corrections has taken the responsibility to manage all prisons within the state.
It demonstrates its commitment to maintaining safety and promoting rehabilitation across its facilities, accommodating inmates with varying degrees of security and support. Thus, the list of private prisons in the state of Oregon is devoid of any names today.
How many prisons are there in Oregon?
Oregon has 12 prisons that keep all the prisoners in the area. These prisons consist of state, federal, and private prisons and county jails.
Are Oregon prisons full?
December 2020 statistics showed that Oregon prisons were full, operating at almost 95% capacity. And that is why Oregon has been taking help from private prisons to manage the prisoner population in Oregon.
How many federal prisons are in Oregon?
Oregon has one federal prison and one federal prison camp, operated by the Western Regional Office of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
What security level is Oregon State Penitentiary?
The Oregon state penitentiary is a maximum-security custody facility that houses high-risk criminals that might be dangerous to the staff and other inmates.