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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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Old 08-07-2016, 04:05 PM
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Question A few questions about inmate jobs in Oregon

Hello all. A little about me.. Im currently dealing with a Felon in Poss of a Firearm case out of Deschutes County. Chances are Ill be doing some prison time, but I have never done prison time in Oregon. I did my prison time in New York back in 2000. I had a kitchen workers position at which I was paid .22 cents an hour. Are prison jobs in Oregon paid? If so, any ideas what the pay is on average? If not, so the only money to purchase items comes from the outside? Thank you in advance to anyone that can answer these questions.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by cmrichardson548 View Post
Hello all. A little about me.. Im currently dealing with a Felon in Poss of a Firearm case out of Deschutes County. Chances are Ill be doing some prison time, but I have never done prison time in Oregon. I did my prison time in New York back in 2000. I had a kitchen workers position at which I was paid .22 cents an hour. Are prison jobs in Oregon paid? If so, any ideas what the pay is on average? If not, so the only money to purchase items comes from the outside? Thank you in advance to anyone that can answer these questions.
Welcome to PTO, and I'm sorry to hear that you're looking at possibly more time.

All inmates are required by law to have jobs and the state must pay them for their labor. I don't remember the lowest hourly rate, but one of my pen pals recently told me that typical income from work inside, after they take out all the deductions, is around $35/month. It's not a lot of money, but it's enough to be able to afford the essentials.

That said, there are only so many jobs to go around, and it's not uncommon to have to wait to get a job when you enter the system or if your old job goes away (some programs will be cut and the inmates working for those programs end up without a job). Some jobs pay relatively well - those usually have long waiting lists and can be difficult to get into.

I wish you well on your journey. Feel free to ask other questions you might have.

Gin
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Old 08-07-2016, 09:20 PM
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GingerM - Thank you for your response! You are correct, $35/month is not a lot of money but a person can make due. My idea would be for me to live comfortable (within reason lol)... would be Id need about $100/month to buy toiletries and some food items, and make a few calls home a month or so. Maybe thats a bit much.
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:20 AM
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That sounds about right. A single phone call costs about $4 for 20 minutes (maximum time). The commissary sells food items, but, as I'm sure you can guess, they're priced high.

I'm hoping your attorney can keep your sentence short, and you won't have to deal with it for long.
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:27 PM
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Sorry about your situation. My son who will be released soon thank God. Is at DRCI. He's worked on fire crew, brush crew and did work on a carrot farm. Every job pays different from what I understand. But I think he was getting paid 42.00 a month for brush crew. It's not much but it's better than nothing, and it gets you outside. Hopefully you have family that can add money to your accounts as well. Good luck
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Old 08-17-2016, 08:12 AM
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I guess the one thing I have going for me right now is while Im out on bail, Im working a full time job. For now Im able to sock away extra cash so if I end up doing time, I won't go in broke at least.
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:15 PM
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Make sure that you have someone with power of attorney on the outside before you go in. Much easier to do now, than once you're inside, and you'll need someone to help manage your affairs.
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Old 08-20-2016, 04:34 PM
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Default One more question I guess..

If I am sentenced to state prison and have money on my person when I enter Coffee Creek for processing, what happens to that money? The reason I ask is when i was sentenced to prison time in New York, the money I took with me in pocket was add to my inmate trust fund acct. Anything I received after that was garnished for fines from the court. Does Oregon DOC take fine/court fees from inmate accts?
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:31 AM
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When you plea, you'll enter county first. There, they will take whatever cash you have on you and put it in your trust (aka commissary) account. That money will then transfer to state into your trust account.

The state will take fine and court fees from your trust account until the fines/court fees are fully paid off. They will not drain your account to $0, though. I can't remember what the dollar amount is, but I think they leave around $30 or so in your account for necessities such as toothpaste, soap, shampoo etc.

If you have someone on the outside with power of attorney, and you give your defense attorney (public defender or hired) permission to do so, you can have the 'bill' given to your PoA person and they can pay the fine for you. Or if you leave enough money with your defense attorney, they can pay the fine for you, so it doesn't start coming off your books right away.

Don't worry about asking questions - it's what we're here for. This is a stressful time for you and for anyone who cares about you. We're here not to judge, but to support. Ask as many questions as you need to help yourself through this.
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Old 08-21-2016, 09:01 AM
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When I did my time in New York prison systems, the corrections dept took 50% of all money coming in and 50% of my state inmate pay to put towards fine/surcharges. For what its worth Im doing my best to prepare myself for the worst including monetary headaches with living in prison. I appreciate all the info and responses Im receiving. Thank you!
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:55 AM
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It's what we're here for.

Here's the applicable Oregon Administrative Ruling (this is not copyrighted):

291-158-0065

Indebted Funds

(1) An inmate who is indebted to the Department of Corrections for whatever reason shall be permitted to spend on commissary during the calendar month one half of the first $60 (up to $30) of funds that have been received and posted for that inmate during the calendar month.

(a) The remainder of the funds received by the inmate during the calendar month shall be applied to the inmate’s debt until such indebtedness is satisfied, in accordance with the procedures provided in these rules.

(b) Any unused funds remaining in an inmate’s trust account at the end of the last business day of the calendar month shall be applied to the inmate’s indebtedness. Any changes to this scheduled date will be communicated by Central Trust.

(2) Each calendar month, Central Trust shall notify each affected inmate through the monthly statement that the Department has applied some or all of the funds received in the prior calendar month to the inmate’s indebtedness. The notice shall advise the inmate that he or she may obtain an administrative review of the proposed collection of debt as indicated in section (3) below.

(3) Administrative Review:

(a) An inmate who has received a notice of proposed collection of debt from the Central Trust Unit may obtain an administrative review by writing to the Central Trust Unit on an Inmate Communication form (CD 214). The request must state the specific reason(s) why the inmate believes an error(s) had occurred in the proposed collection of debt. Requests for administrative review must be received by the Central Trust Unit no later than 30 days after the date of the notice to be valid.

(b) If an inmate submits a timely request for administrative review of the Department’s proposed collection of debt, the Central Trust technician shall examine the relevant records maintained by the Department to determine whether the proposed collection of debt is proper. After review of the relevant records, the Central Trust Manager or designee will issue the final decision in writing to either allow or disallow, in whole or in part, the proposed collection of debt within 30 days after receipt of the request for administrative review. A copy of the final decision letter shall be provided to the requesting inmate.

(4) Annual Holiday Period: During one annual holiday period, the Assistant Director of Operations or Institution Administrator may allow a standard increase in the amount of funds an inmate may spend from their trust account designated for the purchase of gifts or other approved items. The standard increase and holiday period will be the same for all functional units and will be exempt from collection for an inmate’s Department of Corrections debt. Any unused funds remaining to an inmate’s trust account at the end of the designated period will be applied to the inmate’s indebtedness.

[ED. NOTE: Forms referenced are available from the agency]
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