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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 08-24-2013, 10:10 PM
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Default Need to understand why he won't attend functions (he's an SO) in Oregon

My dad is at SRCI. He's been there about 3 months now and is in there for a SO.

He keeps talking about how he doesn't want to do things like go to church or to the car show until he can get to honors housing...because of the drama he says. I'm a newb here...what kind of drama is there in going to church or a car show? I know folks are hard on people with SO charges in prison, but is it really that bad that he can't go to church?

I've asked him but he doesn't want to go into it when we see him or on the phone. You folks are the only ones I can ask.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:06 PM
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He keeps talking about how he doesn't want to do things like go to church or to the car show until he can get to honors housing
This confuses me. He can't attend those things while incarcerated anyway. And, once released, if he is on parole he probably can't attend them even then. Some states do not allow SO's on parole to go to any church that has a daycare. Most states do not allow SO's on parole to go anywhere "family oriented" because there will be minors in attendance. Perhaps he's making excuses so he doesn't have to say that he can't go (?)
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by PezzyDB View Post
My dad is at SRCI. He's been there about 3 months now and is in there for a SO.

He keeps talking about how he doesn't want to do things like go to church or to the car show until he can get to honors housing...because of the drama he says. I'm a newb here...what kind of drama is there in going to church or a car show? I know folks are hard on people with SO charges in prison, but is it really that bad that he can't go to church?

I've asked him but he doesn't want to go into it when we see him or on the phone. You folks are the only ones I can ask.

Thank you in advance.
Sounds like your father is being smart and keeping a low profile. Is he going to be getting into honors housing soon? I don't know much about honors housing, but as I understand it part of the deal with that is abstaining from violence.
You did not mention what Level of security he is in. I understand why your father doesn't want to go into it when you ask him because my honey has told me about some of the 'drama' where he is at, he is in Maximum Security so the 'drama' tends to be more prevalent than at the other Levels. Any time you are in a place where large numbers of inmates are gathered there is the possibility of 'drama', so yes it can be that bad.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:18 PM
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This confuses me. He can't attend those things while incarcerated anyway. And, once released, if he is on parole he probably can't attend them even then. Some states do not allow SO's on parole to go to any church that has a daycare. Most states do not allow SO's on parole to go anywhere "family oriented" because there will be minors in attendance. Perhaps he's making excuses so he doesn't have to say that he can't go (?)
I figured she meant Church in the prison. The car show thing was confusing because I didn't figure they have those kind of things in prison.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:51 PM
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I figured she meant Church in the prison. The car show thing was confusing because I didn't figure they have those kind of things in prison.
When I was at O.S.P., we had an annual car show, several concerts, AA & NA meetings, religious services (at least once a week for several different beliefs), Pow Wows, etc. that all included folks from the outside coming in to volunteer and attend. There were even classes held with college students (U of Oregon, Oregon State, Western Oregon, etc.) who came from the outside and were working on community projects with the inmates. Of course only inmates with one-year clear conduct could attend them. Also, if it involved working with the college students, S/O's were not allowed to participate for obvious reasons. Yes, there were politics which made it uncomfortable for some inmates with certain crimes not want to attend some of the other activities.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:26 AM
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It does sound as if he's doing a good job keeping his head down.

With only 3 months inside, he hasn't figured out all the politics. Since he's an SO in GenPop, he's at higher risk for being beaten up/extorted/having bad things happen to him. My dad is also an SO, although he's at OSCI.

Laying low until he can figure out what the "unofficial rules" are of where he's at is a good plan.

As for church, for some reason that I have yet to figure out, it's assumed that if someone goes to church, he's an SO. And many SO's go to church regularly so it kind of makes them stand out.

As someone else mentioned, he won't be able to do things like the car show until after he's had one year clean conduct.

Honor's housing can be difficult to get into - some people spend years trying to get in.

As for the drama, there is always drama around anything. If he's currently in a dorm setting, there is absolutely nothing to prevent a gang of people from approaching him. A cell setting is slightly better - at least if his cellie is vaguely trustworthy. In a cell he'd only have to defend himself from one attacker, not 20 or 30.

That being said, OSCI went into lockdown last week because a guy in the mental health unit stabbed another guy in the mental health unit multiple times, resulting in emergency room care. The assailant had 3 months left on his sentence. The victim was a predatory SO and repeat offender. This took place in a dorm style setting (which makes me question why you'd put a mental health unit in a dorm setting, but the ways of DoC make no sense to me).

Keeping a low profile until he gets the hang of how things work, and how to avoid trouble, is a good idea. It won't be forever. He'll eventually meet people that he can talk to and feel less isolated.

I do encourage him to keep on trying to get into honor's. My dad got into the honor's unit and has been as happy as I suppose an inmate can be with the situation - he had been in a dorm style medical unit before that and hated the drama.

With nothing new or different ever going on, many inmates thrive on drama as something new and exciting, to the point of making up ludicrous stories (seriously, my dad had a guy in a wheelchair who was unable to walk and easily in his mid 50's continually tell my dad he was going to beat him to death. My dad, in his 70's, finally told the guy to "bring it on", because he was so sick of the drama. Obviously, the guy didn't given that he couldn't stand up without help. It's mind boggling.)

He's the one there on the ground, trust your dad to make the best decisions he can under the circumstances. He may be disappointed that he can't do the interesting things yet, offer sympathy to him for that, and hope. Tell him that he'll be able to in another year or so, but for now, it's the price he pays to keep himself safe.

After 1.5 years in, my dad is still finding his footing. I think he's pretty close, and being in the honor's unit certainly has helped him.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:29 AM
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I figured she meant Church in the prison. The car show thing was confusing because I didn't figure they have those kind of things in prison.
The Church and the car show are in prison. They have special events in Oregon prisons, and car shows are one of the popular ones (along with family picnics that are catered out). They're generally a good behavior incentive. Church is always there, although in some institutions, the choices are limited (where my dad is, he can attend Pagan, Native American or Catholic services - no protestant of any denomination).
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:10 PM
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He's being smart not attending those functions the "normal" sorry to say don't like associating the the "so" really he's doing it for his safety and ex co-worker of mine when in SR for SO and he doesn't come out of his cell much.. a lot of times not even to eat. High risk.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:38 PM
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He's being smart not attending those functions the "normal" sorry to say don't like associating the the "so" really he's doing it for his safety and ex co-worker of mine when in SR for SO and he doesn't come out of his cell much.. a lot of times not even to eat. High risk.
It's definitely high risk at first. He'll need to meet more people and find a niche for himself where he isn't putting himself at risk of extortion, gangs, drugs, or physical danger. Once he's found a group that he can associate with, he'll be able to do more events with less threat to him (let's face it, prison isn't safe for *anyone*, SO or otherwise).

He's playing it smart. Head down, don't cause trouble, don't see trouble and don't be around trouble.
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Old 08-29-2013, 02:37 AM
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My LO isn't in for a SO offense, but he was celled up with one once he entered honors housing. Your dad is correct, once he gets into honors, things seem to relax a bit. Apparently there is a different set of rules there. That said, staying away from drama/politics/is the best way to go. There seems to be enough ridiculousness to encounter without actively seeking it out. Hang in there ...
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by PezzyDB View Post
My dad is at SRCI. He's been there about 3 months now and is in there for a SO.

He keeps talking about how he doesn't want to do things like go to church or to the car show until he can get to honors housing...because of the drama he says. I'm a newb here...what kind of drama is there in going to church or a car show? I know folks are hard on people with SO charges in prison, but is it really that bad that he can't go to church?

I've asked him but he doesn't want to go into it when we see him or on the phone. You folks are the only ones I can ask.

Thank you in advance.
I guess just to echo what others said - having been at SRCI, I would venture a guess that close to 80% of the folks who attend the church services (I play the piano fairly well, and used to play music for 6-7 services each week) are SO's... there is a bit of a joke among the non SO's that Chapel is the SO's "gang". Anyway, it's a very long walk, just a tad under ¼ mile, from Units Two or Three to the chapel down a very long corridor. Your dad may be concerned about getting jumped in that hall - as "line movements" are open to most inmates so everyone is moving at the same time.

Back a few years ago, Unit One was kind of a haven for SO's. Plus, it directly adjoins the Chapel area, so you would go directly from Unit One area to the chapel. Now, there are Honors Units (Privileged Housing) on both Two and Three side, so there is no guarantee anyone who earns privileged housing will end up on One Side.

Keeping a low profile is great, but at some point, depending on how much time your dad is doing, he may want to venture out and take advantage of some of the programs. There are risks, and he may have to take his lumps, but hiding in your cell gets noticed too - and you have to eat...

Being a SO in prison is a miserable experience (especially if one's crime involved small children), but it's totally manageable depending on one's attitude and willingness to stand up for oneself.

Oh... and you're Dad can't really tell you what's happening on the phone, because all the unit phones are right next to each other and everyone else can hear everything he's saying. There are phones on the yard which are more private, but he may be concerned about going to the yard.
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