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Number of Women Inmates in Oregon up 86 percent over 10 years

Over the past ten years, the number of women inmates in prison in Oregon has jumped 86 percent, due to new laws mandating prison for non-violent crimes. (For men, the increase has been just 28 percent.) Hannah Hoffman’s excellent article in Willamette Week offers a detailed look at why women are the fastest-growing group of inmates in Oregon, and the effects of this criminal justice trend.

The article points out that female inmates cost the state more than male inmates, requiring more staff, medicine, programs, counselors and caseworkers. Hoffman writes, “According to [Department of Corrections] statistics, about a third of female prisoners have not completed high school. More strikingly, the vast majority are diagnosed at their medical evaluation as having mental-health issues. Sixty-four percent of the inmates at Coffee Creek have “serious and persistent mental health diagnoses,” such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and chronic depression, according to the DOC. And 89 percent of the inmate population entered prison addicted to drugs or alcohol.” And since about 75 percent of the women are mothers, the State must also pay for foster care for many of their children.

CCQ gets IBM grant for website redesign

CCQ was honored to receive a $1000 grant from IBM’s On Demand Community, which supports business solutions for organizations in which the corporation’s retirees volunteer. CCQ board member Martha Messa is an IBM retiree, and the grant was awarded thanks to her efforts.

CCQ quilts comfort grieving kids at Camp Erin

Seventeen children and teenagers attending a special summer camp for grieving children received comfort quilts from Coffee Creek Quilters in 2011. CCQ members – instructors and volunteers – challenged themselves to make the quilts for Camp Erin, part of the Providence Healthcare system, where young people learn to cope with the loss of a loved one. A total of 60 campers participated in the program.