Panel Meets on Unsafe Condition at OR Women's Prison
Tuesday, September 5, 2023
A report on conditions in Oregon's only women's prison has prompted Gov. Tina Kotek to assemble an advisory panel which will meet for the first time this week.
The Gender Informed Practices Assessment was ordered by the state and released in mid-August. It details unsafe conditions at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, including a high number of attempted suicides, lack of mental health resources, and staff and inmate reports of sexual misconduct.
Bobbin Singh, executive director of the Oregon Justice Resource Center, said the report should generate action.
"I hope this GIPA report actually provides a meaningful wake-up call to public officials in all three branches of government to actually look at this and be concerned," Singh urged. "Because essentially what we're describing is human rights violations happening in our state."
Kotek's panel meets on Thursday. Singh pointed out conditions in the prison have been well documented. In July, his organization released a report with stories from people suffering inside Coffee Creek.
Singh argued it is up to every branch of government to fix the situation.
"To the task force itself, we'll see what happens with that," Singh observed. "Unless there's meaningful oversight of the Department of Corrections, there's no way to know if anything that's recommended by this task force will be implemented or implemented well."
Singh hopes the report will reveal what is allegedly happening to people who are incarcerated in Coffee Creek, and allow the public to make its own determination regarding the prison's unsafe conditions.
"It's true, we're not being hyperbolic, we're not just saying things for the sake of saying things," Singh stressed. "This is how we're treating people here in Oregon."
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