Oregon Dept. of Corrections
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News Releases
Joshua Q. Rennels
Joshua Q. Rennels
Two Rivers Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo) - 09/15/21

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Joshua Quentin Rennels, died September 14, 2021. Rennels was incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) in Umatilla and passed away in the infirmary while on hospice care. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified.

Rennels entered DOC custody on November 7, 2013, from Marion County. His earliest release date was July 29, 2023. Rennels was 46 years old.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 12,000 individuals who are incarcerated in 13 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

TRCI is a multi-custody prison in Umatilla that houses approximately 1,800 adults in custody. TRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including institution and industrial laundry, mattress manufacturing, and sewing. Other institution work programs include reparation and cleaning of irrigation ditches, maintenance of local baseball fields, and work with local cities and the Hermiston School District. The facility provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, religious services, and behavioral health services. TRCI opened in 2000.

 

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Attached Media Files: Joshua Q. Rennels
Devin M. S. Harris
Devin M. S. Harris
Oregon State Penitentiary reports in-custody death (Photo) - 09/13/21

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Devin Michael Stephen Harris, died September 6, 2021. Harris was incarcerated at Oregon State Penitentiary and passed away at a local hospital. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified and the State Medical Examiner will determine cause of death.

Harris entered DOC custody on June 22, 2021, from Marion County with an earliest release date of September 27, 2023. Harris was 28 years old. Next of kin has been notified.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 12,000 individuals who are incarcerated in 13 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

OSP is a multi-custody prison located in Salem that houses approximately 2,000 adults in custody. OSP is surrounded by a 25-foot-high wall with 10 towers. The facility has multiple special housing units including disciplinary segregation, behavioral health, intermediate care housing, and an infirmary (with hospice) with 24-hour nursing care. OSP participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including the furniture factory, laundry, metal shop, and contact center. It provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, work-based education, work crews, and pre-release services. OSP was established in 1866 and, until 1959, was Oregon’s only prison.

 

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Attached Media Files: Devin M. S. Harris
Stephen R. Risch
Stephen R. Risch
Two Rivers Correctional Institution reports in-custody death (Photo) - 09/03/21

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Stephen Reed Risch, died morning of September 3, 2021. Risch was incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution (TRCI) in Umatilla and passed away in the infirmary while on hospice care. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified.

Risch entered DOC custody on March 1, 2011, from Marion County. His earliest release date was March 10, 2052. Risch was 68 years old.

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 12,000 individuals who are incarcerated in 13 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

TRCI is a multi-custody prison in Umatilla that houses approximately 1,800 adults in custody. TRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including institution and industrial laundry, mattress manufacturing, and sewing. Other institution work programs include reparation and cleaning of irrigation ditches, maintenance of local baseball fields, and work with local cities and the Hermiston School District. The facility provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, religious services, and behavioral health services. TRCI opened in 2000.

 

 

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Attached Media Files: Stephen R. Risch
Two Rivers Correctional Institution reports in-custody death - 09/02/21

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died August 31, 2021. He was incarcerated at Two Rivers Correctional Institution and passed away in the infirmary. He tested positive for COVID-19 and was between 65 and 75 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the forty-fourth AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

For current information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 12,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 13 institutions across the state. 

Anyone entering DOC property is required to wear a mask or face covering in any indoor work setting or other indoor premises regardless of distance from others unless they are in a private, individual office not shared by anyone else; or they are actively eating or drinking AND at least six (6) feet of distance can be maintained between other people. 

Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID-19 to medical staff. Posters are in all DOC institutions encouraging individuals to maintain proper hygiene and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible. Health screening processes are in place before staff are allowed to enter facilities. This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire. 

DOC has offered COVID-19 vaccinations to all DOC staff, contractors, Oregon Corrections Enterprises employees, and AICs. Acceptance rates are estimated at 74% for AICs and 55% for DOC employees. DOC follows guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Governor’s Office. 

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a press release when an AIC passed away. This notification would include the person’s name, county of conviction, sentence length, and date of death. However, no cause of death would be listed because the Medical Examiner makes that determination. In order to balance the desire for transparency with our legal obligation to protect personal health information, we have changed the AIC death notification process when someone dies who has tested positive for COVID-19. DOC works with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.

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Oregon State Penitentiary reports in-custody death - 08/27/21

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody (AIC) died August 21, 2021. He was incarcerated at Oregon State Penitentiary and passed away at a local hospital. He tested positive for COVID-19 and was between 50 and 60 years old. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified, and the Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. Department-wide, this is the forty-third AIC to die who tested positive for COVID-19.

For current information on COVID-19 cases inside Oregon’s prisons, please visit DOC’s COVID-19 website. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 12,000 adults in custody who are incarcerated in 13 institutions across the state. 

Anyone entering DOC property is required to wear a mask or face covering in any indoor work setting or other indoor premises regardless of distance from others unless they are in a private, individual office not shared by anyone else; or they are actively eating or drinking AND at least six (6) feet of distance can be maintained between other people. 

Institutions continue to clean and disinfect numerous times a day. DOC asks AICs to report symptoms of COVID-19 to medical staff. Posters are in all DOC institutions encouraging individuals to maintain proper hygiene and to uphold appropriate social distancing to the extent possible. Health screening processes are in place before staff are allowed to enter facilities. This screening includes a temperature check and a screening questionnaire.

DOC has offered COVID-19 vaccinations to all DOC staff, contractors, Oregon Corrections Enterprises employees, and AICs. Vaccine acceptance rates are estimated at 78% for AICs and 55% for DOC employees. DOC follows guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Governor’s Office. 

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, DOC issued a press release when an AIC passed away. This notification would include the person’s name, county of conviction, sentence length, and date of death. However, no cause of death would be listed because the Medical Examiner makes that determination. In order to balance the desire for transparency with our legal obligation to protect personal health information, we have changed the AIC death notification process when someone dies who has tested positive for COVID-19. DOC works with the Oregon Health Authority to publish COVID-19 related data and information on the OHA website.

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Stephen Kovacs
Stephen Kovacs
Coffee Creek Correctional Facility reports in-custody death (Photo) - 08/21/21

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) adult in custody, Stephen Kovacs, died the afternoon of August 21, 2021. Kovacs was incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (CCCF) and passed away at a local hospital while on hospice care. As with all in-custody deaths, the Oregon State Police have been notified.

Kovacs entered DOC custody on November 6, 2015, from Multnomah County with an earliest release date of March 3, 2032. Kovacs was 58 years old. Next of kin has been notified. 

DOC takes all in-custody deaths seriously. The agency is responsible for the care and custody of 12,000 individuals who are incarcerated in 13 institutions across the state. While crime information is public record, DOC elects to disclose only upon request out of respect for any family or victims.

CCCF is a multi-custody prison located in Wilsonville accommodating 1,260 adults in custody. The prison has cell and dormitory housing, work programs, skills training, treatment programs, health services, religious services, physical plant, a central records unit, and administrative areas. CCCF participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises, including a contact center, auto CAD, and document scanning. In addition, CCCF houses the state’s intake center, which provides intake and evaluation of all individuals committed to state custody by the courts. The intake center houses approximately 400 adults in custody. CCCF’s minimum facility opened in 2001, and the medium facility opened in 2002.

 

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Attached Media Files: Stephen Kovacs