Department of Corrections

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Two Washington prison inmates have committed suicide in recent weeks at the state’s main intake facility in Shelton. The first was in October. The most recent was just before Thanksgiving. The Department of Corrections hopes to learn from these deaths.

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Fewer prisoners serve their entire prison sentence behind bars in Oregon than in any other state. That's according to a study released Wednesday from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Oregon also supervises its newly released inmates more than any other state.

The State Department of Corrections has shut down a decades old program staffed by inmates to remove asbestos from prison facilities.The Department of Corrections said the closure was unrelated to a $70,000 fine from the Department of Labor and Industries.

Oregon lawmakers have given the initial approval to a sweeping measure aimed at checking the growth of the state's prison population. The House Thursday passed a bill that reduces some sentences for non-violent crimes. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Colorado DOC Murder Resonates With Local Public Officials

Mar 20, 2013

The Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections was shot dead after answering the doorbell at his home Tuesday night. There have been no arrests yet in the death of Tom Clements. The case brings to mind an attack that took place just six months ago on Thurston County Court Judge Michael Brett Buckley.

Photo credit: Chris Lehman / The Oregon Department of Corrections

Oregon lawmakers have been pressing state agencies to cut back the ranks of middle managers. A legislative panel voted Wednesday to do that. But they scaled back a proposed round of layoffs at prisons because of safety concerns.

The Department of Corrections had submitted a budget-cutting plan to eliminate 81 positions, including more than 50 prison lieutenants. Lawmakers instead told the agency to scrap just 21 jobs by this summer. House Democratic leader Tina Kotek said the original proposal was too much, too soon.

Tina Kotek: "I am concerned about the safety issues within the system by reducing the number of supervisors. It's a challenge of safety for the staff, safety for the inmates."