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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 08-18-2016, 12:05 AM
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Default Sanctions while in Disciplinary Segregation in Oregon

My PenPal landed himself in Disciplinary Segregation for 30 days. He was transferred from MCCF to the hole in OSP (just before last week's mainline riot/fight broke out at OSP). I received a very short letter from him today explaining how he was fined $100 for the infraction that landed him in the hole. He apparently got high with some of the guys at MCCF and got caught during a random UA (urine analysis?). He explains that he must first pay the fine before he can spend any money. Because he was only able to work two weeks at MCCF he did not earn a full paycheck; he now still owes $74.

He has never asked me for money as he prides himself of being a hard worker who earns his keep. I am from Canada so the price of envelopes is a bit higher than US domestic ones. Because of the cost and amount of time took for mail to reach either of us, we strove to write thoughtful, wholesome, and meaningful letters that averaged 4 pages - this is why I was surprised when I opened his letter to only find one page. To compensate for the cost of envelopes he's had to sacrifice buying food items from canteen/commissary. Touched, I wanted to put some money into his account without him knowing or asking me to do so. My good intentions were thwarted by the JPay system that gave me the message that read:
"Transfer Blocked
We are sorry, but the offender you selected is currently blocked from receiving payments."

Confused, dismayed, but determined, I scoured the internet to find answers. I had a hunch that something unfortunate happened that caused him to be transferred from a minimum facility to a maximum one. My internet search kept bringing me back to this site, hence my decision to join. I contacted OSP staff to find out why I was not able to deposit money into my friend's account but was directed to contact the DOC Trust Accounts office. I did not get two sentences in before I was told I had to contact JPay as it was a vendor's issue. I contacted JPay who reassured me that there was nothing wrong with my account and that the block was coming from the DOC side and not the vendor's side. Dizzy from this useless game of phone tag, I decided to Google-search the heck out of this confusion and find the answers on my own.

My searching for answers, however, produced more questions than answers. I'm hoping someone in here would be able to help me sort this out.

1) Is it common practice for inmates to have sanctions imposed upon them for having been placed in disciplinary segregation?

2)What liberties/privileges are taken away during such occurrence?

3)My inmate friend has previously sent me letters written on college-ruled paper, this time it was written on blank paper. Are personal property taken away when inmates are placed in segregation (ie. paper, old letters, etc)? Which would suggest that he is indeed in disciplinary segregation as I've read that they are provided precise number of supplies such as ONE pen, x-number of paper, x-number of envelopes.

4)My friend sounded very depressed and distraught and his letter sounded more like a Dear John letter. He said it would take him 3 months to payoff his fine before he can afford envelopes to anyone and not just me in Canada. He was saying good-bye and wishing me luck in the future. He did not ask for money, though he did mention that any money put into his account goes toward the remuneration of the fine. If that were the case, is part of disciplinary sanction blocking transfer of funds into his account? Any ideas why it would be blocked?

5)I've read posts on here that some people contact the inmates' counselors. Is the assigned counselor the name that appears next to Caseload in the Public Information of the Oregon Offender Search?

6)How receptive are counselors with regard to asking questions about inmates? I know that due to confidentiality issues counselors cannot divulge inmate information to mere penpals or the public. I do have a genuine interest in helping my friend rise above his circumstance. I want to help him better himself to become a contributing member of society once he's released in four years' time. The only information I really want to know is why his account was blocked. I'd hate to think that it was blocked due to allegations of soliciting money from penpals. I do not want to fall victim to that. I can easily walk away and move on however, I cannot do it without knowing for sure. I'd hate to abandon a friend when he needs me most. What questions should I be asking myself? What questions could and should I ask the counselor? I imagine that he/she has hundreds of inmates to attend to I'd prefer to just send a letter so that the counselor can respond to my inquiries at his/her leisure. I'm not particularly too fond of the phone-tagging exercise anyway.

I welcome any bit of advice and comments. Please help me not walk away from an inmate who potentially needs a true friend right now. I can't help but think that his last letter, the one I received today, was his gentlemanly way of letting me walk away from an unpleasant scheme. I hope I haven't gotten that cynical.

Last edited by aftershock23; 08-18-2016 at 12:58 AM..
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Old 08-18-2016, 01:31 AM
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Umm... How do I delete this post above?
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Old 08-18-2016, 06:39 AM
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To give you answers quickly:

1. Yes, many people who end up in the hole will also be fined, depending on what their transgression was.

2. When they go to the hole, all personal property is taken from them, though some may be allowed to take one book from the library with them. Most of the time, they are allowed to write, but are not allowed phone calls. They are typically allowed out of their cells for one hour per day (usually broken up, so three 20 minute periods) for 'exercise'. This may change depending on why they're in the hole and what guard is on duty.

3. I believe your guess is correct - he is writing on 'prison paper'. But many inmates also buy that paper for various reasons, so it is available outside the hole as well.

4. If he's in the hole for doing something involving financial transactions, they may have put a block on his account while they investigate. No one at DoC would be able to tell you this since it would violate the active investigation, and his privacy.

5. Yes, the counselor is named next to the word "Caseload" on the offender search. You would write to the counselor using the following format:

[Institution]
Attn: [counselor's name]
{same street address you send mail to}

I found that including a self-addressed, stamped enveloped drastically reduced the turn around time for responses.

6. Counselors cannot give out information to anyone about the inmate other than what you can find on the offender search without written consent from the inmate. Even then, it is difficult - I couldn't find out information about my dad through his counselor but his friends would send me daily updates before Dad got so bad as to have to enter hospice. And I *did* have paperwork allowing them to talk to me! So it's unlikely the counselor will be able to give you much information at all.

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Old 08-18-2016, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aftershock23 View Post
Umm... How do I delete this post above?
Unfortunately, there is no delete function for posts on PTO. You can edit a post, but you only have the first hour after it's been posted to do so, then the edit feature is no longer available.

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