On April 24, the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) prohibited any further classroom instruction occurring at our Corban extension in the Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI). ODOC did this with good reason. They were very concerned about the spread of COVID-19 into OSCI. Except for one or two hotspots in other Oregon prisons, our prison system has fared extremely well under the leadership of Director Colette Peters.
During a virtual conference meeting last week with another ODOC leader, Assistant Director Nathaline Frener, and leaders from other educational institutions, we learned that the ODOC will be reopening educational opportunities for adults in custody in our prison system.Hallelujah!
I learned specifically that the ODOC will begin to allow Corban professors to resubmit education packets to our students on June 1. We were fortunate that some Corban professors were able to give our students completed grades for the Spring Semester in spite of the early shut down. Another Hallelujah!
Now our students will begin their Summer Semester, a little late, but with the ability to “catch up” in their studies over the next few weeks.
More good news! The ODOC has begun the process of notifying adults in custody throughout the Oregon prison system about the application process for our new cohort this fall. The deadline for submitting interest in the Corban extension at OSCI is July 1.
And another Hallelujah!
PS….my good friend and mentor, Burl Cain, the “father” of the seminaries in prisons movement, has been appointed the Commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Burl’s sphere of influence is expanding greatly!