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Oregon General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to Prison & the Criminal Justice System in Oregon that do not fit into any other Oregon sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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  #1  
Old 08-17-2009, 11:44 PM
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Default Suggestions for Fostering Inmate/Family Relationships:

People are realizing that inmates do better after release when they have a strong family bond, and more family contact while incarcerated. What are some suggestions of things to help with this? What kind of functions would you like to be allowed to attend? Some prisons invite allow our loved ones to invite us to their parenting class graduations, some have had (don't know if they still do) banquets that families may attend, others now have choir concerts. What can we add to the list? I would like to see inmates getting baptized, and families invited to attend. I would also enjoy being able to have Holiday meals with my brother (my inmate). Also, for those of us that are religious, I would like to be able to attend religious services (if even for only special occassions) with my brother. For husbands and wives or boyfriend girlfriend combinations, I would encourage a "Sweetheart Banquet" sort of thing on Valentine's Day. Ok, make the inmates earn these by requiring them to be at a certain level, certain amount of good time, etc. Don't take it away from everyone if a few abuse the rewards - rather don't let them participate again. The women at Coffee Creek are allowed to help their children with homework, and the "children's" visits don't count against their visiting points? What can we come up with for the men to be able to spend better quality time with their children? Also, SRCI and one other prison has the e-mail program. It was a trial at them, the trial ended, they still have the e-mail. Why can't the other prisons have the e-mail program now?
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Old 08-18-2009, 09:45 AM
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I agree with all that you said Granny. I also believe that Coffee Creek allows the ladies to do a girl scout program. I think that is wonderful. Maybe let the guys do a boy scout program. I would like to see pregnant inmates get to bond with their babies after they are born, before they are taken away. Since my time is almost up I will add what I would have liked to see. Thinking back I would have loved to attend special visits for church at Christmas and Easter. I would also like to have been able to attend the baptism and graduation from special programs. In the AIP he gets to have people present for his graduation from the program so that is nice. The other thing I would like to see them bring back is family weekend visits, or Trailer visits. I think the family as a whole could benefit from this. Not just husbands and wives but also mothers and fathers spending time with their kids. I agree with what Granny said, make the inmates earn it and take it away from those who abuse it. Also the email program would go over great if they expanded it to more Oregon prisons. I would have paid for it without a problem. Okay I think thats all I can come up with for now.
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:04 AM
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Hi Granny!

For me, Holidays are very important. I would love to be with my loved one in special activities. Also, to participate in religious services together. Thanks, G.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:17 PM
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Oh, I will add to this list something I have been petitioning for and already working on (and some have), the inmate news letters posted to their websites weekly or monthly -- so that we have their current information and movies. Then, we can have more to talk about with them.
Also, how hard would it be to allow a digital camera brought in for the weddings? It could be one with the memory card, that allows for viewing of the photos, so they could take a few minutes to view that you didn't photograph anything that shouldn't have been photoed, would need a new photo card prior to going inside. Let the inmates make paper flowers to decorate for the weddings (something to make it a little more special).
Yes, cub scouts / boy scouts would be great for the guys to lead. Thanks LadyKali. They could even do some wood working projects together (little type things). And, why are only the women given the priviledges of helping with their children's homework? And, a couple times a year, put together programs so that the guys can teach their sons about sex education and that no means no, etc.
A couple times a year, a "Family Movie" evening at the prison, complete with popcorn and drinks (non alcoholic). Each person attending could pay $2 or $3 dollars to help cover the cost of the movie rental and popcorn, and extra staff time.
Thanks everyone. Let"s keep the suggestions coming.
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:48 PM
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All great ideas Granny and everyone else. My husband is at EO too and it is nice to hear that they may be open to some new ideas. TJ was saying something about a video message to his kids? Similar to what they do with the parenting program. Allowing more time for phone calls would be super (I won't hold my breath). It would then be possible to talk with the kids nightly and help with issues, homework etc. After spending the last few holidays apart I realize how hard that is for him and I. Having some special time together would be awesome and the kids would like it too.
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:57 PM
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I would like to watch them play sports. I would like for them to have picnics, which used to be done at OSCI until people started sneeking off and getting busy. It's unfortunate that people who don't follow the rules have ruined the possibility of these types of activities.

I would like to see them loosen the visiting rules around seating. It would be great to walk around, sit side by side and be more comfortable. I don't think they will ever allow family visits (they never have)-there is a huge cost and potential of violent crime.

The problem with religious activities open to visitors is it's discrimantory- since in most prisons there is only a christian chaplain on staff, that would be what the majority (if not all) of the activities were. If prisoners aren't christian, they won't or can't particpate. It would only be right if they wanted to offer it to every religion (which would be a lot to manage). There were some valid reasons why there was a stink raised around Bush's faith-based program initiative.

I do think there should be more activities for prisoners to be involved with children, but there are a lot of people who do not support the boy scouts. If they do decide to offer something more, it should be to ALL visitors or ALL family members. The reality is there are a lot of people who only have one person supporting them and they are neither a family member, a child, nor a christian. I think equality is important in the prison system.

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Old 08-18-2009, 03:37 PM
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As my brother and I are both Christians, I can come up with those suggestions. Those that aren't need to come up with their own suggestions. That is my answer for that. Each of their different religious services could come up with their own plan for their group. We had the choir concert. I know nothing of some of the other groups to know what they could provide. I did suggest a movie night. They could break that down by certain letters of the alphabet, until every inmate had a chance to invite someone. It wasn't stipulated for families for the choir concert. The rules were -- on their visiting list.
And, sorry, it isn't going to be our decision. We are giving suggestions of things we would like to see -- not why it can't happen or doesn't, or was taken away in the past. They know why it was taken away in the past. They (the prison) will be doing what is necessary to correct that, if they allow us to have these programs and things. Our job is to give suggestions of things we would like to see, that foster better relationships for the "family". If a particular inmate"s "family" isn't related by blood, but they are listed on the visiting list, that is the important thing. It is someone who is supporting them inside and will be there to support them on the outside. Maybe we could petition for being able to watch the sports from outside the fences, staying back a good ten feet, or something, and checking in so they know we will be watching. Maybe we could ask for bleachers outside the fenced in yard, for viewing of sporting events. That is another good suggestion. We'll let them work out the details, we'll give suggestions. What we had in the past that was ruined by a few; hopefully we can get some of that back. Realizing that some will still break the rules, lets let them plan to punish the ones that do that, instead of taking it away from all.
I would like to add: this is the reason for this thread, to get suggestions and input, to come up with different ideas. I appreciate everyone's input into this. You know I'll be asking the DOC to look at it. They are welcome to even if I don't personally ask them. And, they know I'll be the first to raise cain when they do something wrong, but I'll be one of the first to say "good job", too. So, good job for the Choir Concert, thank you. And, thank you for asking for our input for other suggestions.
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:01 PM
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Granny- I apologize if I went off topic, I didn't realize this was a succinct thread to make suggestions to the ODOC. I assumed it was a discussion, so I was giving my opinion on what I would and wouldn't like to see and why. I guess I should have written it differently, so here are my suggestions:

Religious activities for visitors are positive and wanted, but ODOC needs to hire or find someone to coordinate for the dozens of other religions in the prison so they have equal opportunity.

Community service events with organizations that don't discrimanate are a great idea. [/color][/b]
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:02 AM
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Well for me I would just like a visit more than anything in this whole world (well besides him coming home lol)

But in general, I think everyone has great ideas. I don't really have any besides all the wonderful ones listed.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:40 AM
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For me, I would really enjoy watching them play sports, at least the playoffs. The picnic idea sounds really great too. I agree with OneLuv that everything should as much as possible apply equally to everyone. In other words, not exclude people if they are not married, do not have children, etc. I commend EO for taking the time to consider input from families. I wish other prisons were doing this as well. In particular Deer Ridge where rules are continually made, changed and re-changed and all it does is frustrate contact between inmates and families. EO and Columbia River were much better at accommodating visitors and encouraging family contact.
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Old 08-20-2009, 12:58 PM
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Granny, it is my understanding that your loved one has to be in the choir in order to have their family come and see the concert. Is that true? If so I think they just got two more members.
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iloveyoumore View Post
Granny, it is my understanding that your loved one has to be in the choir in order to have their family come and see the concert. Is that true? If so I think they just got two more members.
Yes, they had to be in the choir to have their families attend the choir concert. Well, it was stipulated the people on their visiting list, not just their families. But yes, the guys had to be in the choir. Some choir members didn't have family there, so the rest of us kind of adopted them for the time there.
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:09 PM
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On Religion it could be just non denominational so everyone can attend. People have thier own views and beliefs on religion. It woluld be nice to have all these things but what about the places where its 8+ hours drive. And what about the inmates with no family or loved one? I like all the ideas and yes there are some that ruined it for others. All these are ideas are great, but wwould be greater if all priisons participated not just a few. Just my view
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