About the Issue
In June 2020, Oregon Dept of Corrections (ODOC) switched communication providers from Telmate to CenturyLink. This introduced a number of problems including removing instant messages,
making video visits impossible with any Apple device [iPhone app was released July 22, 2020], and creating long lines for phones inside prisons. No family member has been able to visit since March 13 due to Covid-19, so these communication methods are all we have.
I created a petition asking DOC for 10 changes that would improve the situation. It has over 1000 signatures and many moving comments. Now is the time to make our legislators aware and ask for their support.
What to Write
Here is what I recommend including in your letter:
- Say that you are a resident of their district
- Briefly describe the problem
- Include any ways it has personally impacted you
- Remind them that no family has been able to visit since March 13 due to Covid-19, making these communication methods the only way to stay in contact
- Link to the petition for more info
- Ask them to call Colette Peters at 503-945-0927 and ask her to fix these problems
- Sign with your name
Scroll down to the bottom of this page for a sample letter.
Who to Contact
There are four types of legislators you can contact:
- U.S. Senators for Oregon – Ron Wyden (choose “Share Your Opinion”) and Jeff Merkley.
- U.S. Representative in Congress
- Oregon House Senator
- Oregon House Representative
You can also write Governor Kate Brown.
Here are some people at Oregon Department of Corrections you can also try contacting:
- Colette Peters, Director: 503-945-0927, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Charles Kliewer, Administrative Services, listed as Program Administrator in the CenturyLink contract: 503-945-9029, email@example.com.
- Forest Ledbetter, Administrative Services, listed as Program Manager in the CenturyLink contract: 503-945-0905, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Please don’t copy/paste the sample letter to these people, it won’t make any sense as it is written to target legislators.
It is best to use this as starting place and write your own if you have time. Be sure to change the signature if nothing else.