Prison Pipeline on 04/09/12
MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility is the largest youth prison in Oregon. The majority of the youth housed there serve long sentences of five years or more. While serving time there, the youth live on units referred to as cottages. These are basically dorms that the young people spend most of their time in. They have time for exercise at the gym, they can pick up jobs during the day, go to school and have “group.”
“Group” is where the youth go to learn skills that are unique. Basically, they are workshops where the youth can learn how to do a number of creative things there such as life skills, writing, theater and journalism. Most of the groups are provided by staff from Minority Services or from the University of Hope Partnership program, which is a non-profit organization that helps to coordinate these groups. One of those groups is the Morpheus Youth Project, which is a newer non-profit that I helped to found along with my friend Phil Stockton.
On Monday’s Prison Pipeline program you’ll get a chance to hear some of the skills that my students are learning as radio journalists and as artists. Incarcerated youth participate in a music festival on campus that they also cover as field recorders.