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Three Salem prisons evacuated due to danger of nearby fires

Over 1,000 inmates have been evacuated from their prisons to the Oregon State Penitentiary.

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) has evacuated three Salem prisons due to fires in the area.

Both the Lionshead Fire east of Detroit Lake and the Santiam Fire east of Salem, formerly called the Beachie Creek Fire, threatened the three prisons. All adults in custody and employees have been evacuated from:

  • Oregon State Correction Institution
  • Santiam Correctional Institution
  • Mill Creek Correctional Facility

Everyone evacuated was relocated to the Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP). DOC is working with the Oregon State Police to facilitate the evacuation.

A total of 1,450 adults in custody have been relocated and housed in emergency beds throughout OSP. Employees of the evacuated facilities will work at OSP to ensure there are appropriate staffing levels for the number of adults in custody.

According to DOC, OSP is located in Salem, and houses over 2,000 individuals. OSP is surrounded by a 25-foot-high wall with 10 towers. The facility has multiple special housing units including death row, 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, inmate work crews, and pre-release services. OSP was established in 1866 and, until 1959, was Oregon's only prison.