Oregon Takes Different Approach To Prison Discipline

Five years ago, officials stopped tracking prisoners' gang affiliations and instead focused on individual behavior, reports the Oregonian.
March 5, 2011

Oregon's corrections system has stopped honing in on inmates who are in prison gangs. Instead, officials will take an approach that tracks inmates who are safety threats -- regardless of their affiliations, The Oregonian reports.

The program, dubbed Security Threat Management (STM), is about five years old, and some critics say it's a big mistake for the state to stop keeping track of which prisoners are in gangs.

But an analysis by The Oregonian shows it may be working. Since STM's inception, there has been a decline in inmate misconduct, though the data on assaults is less conclusive.

The threat management program rewards compliant behavior, with incentives like better housing and jobs. Prisoners who act out are punished..

The change was largely in response to corrections intelligence officers who were often keeping data on gang affiliations to themselves.

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