B.E, age 17, at Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility. All images by Richard Ross for Juvenile-in-Justice.
 
€œThis is my fourth time here. This time I’ve been here about a month. I’€™m almost 18. Before this I was in DHS (Department of Human Services, sometimes CPS) custody. I was at Kristy Care, but I had assaults against staff. They all occurred during a take down when I was 14.
 

I’€™m here for 3 assault-4€™s– misdemeanors. There are no other programs that would take me. My mom is a Kurd. My sister and I were adopted by my dad, he’s a lot older. I was born and raised in Kurdistan. I was about 10 when I came here. I was in Kristy Care for cutting myself. My mom is 30… she’€™s a prostitute. My father is about 80. My dad sexually assaulted me and my sister. My mom stayed in Kurdistan. My adopted dad brought me and my sister here. He assaulted us repeatedly. He’€™s now back in Missouri with his adult daughters who are in their 50s. He only got 5 years of parole. My sister lives in South Portland and works in a Mexican restaurant.
 

 
My original parole officer wants to terminate me. I wanna go live with my sister. There’s no drugs or drinking involved. I smoke cigarettes. I’€™m working towards my GED. I ran away from foster homes a bunch. I’€™ve been to more than 20. I’€™ve been to four different programs besides this. Sort of independent living,€“ but its not. It’s a step down program. I was at the Farm Home for cutting. I was at Kristy Care three times. I left twice and I got kicked out once. This place, Oak Creek, is used as placement rather than law violation,€“ I haven’€™t cut in years.

– B.E, age 17, at Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility in Albany, Oregon

Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility in Albany, Oregon is the only girls-only facility in the state. They are part of the Oregon Youth Authority (OYA). Oak Creek has 75 beds and the average length of stay is 138 days. When asked if girls are easier than boys, Mark Riggins, the director at Oak Creek answers, “€œGod, no.”€ The facility offers gender specific programming, but understands that regulating girl’€™s emotions is a chore. There are lots of issues with self-harm here and the staff works to provide safety while maintaining a pro-kid atmosphere.

 
Read all the posts from Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility HERE.
 
 

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