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MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility has been a part of the Woodburn area community for nearly 90 years. And, in the spirit of being a good neighbor, we want to tell you about OYA 10 Year Strategic Plan for Facilities and how it will affect the MacLaren campus.

Those of you who are familiar with OYA know that its mission is to protect the public and reduce crime by holding youth offenders accountable and providing opportunities for reformation in safe environments. As you can imagine, our understanding of how to improve outcomes for youth and achieve those goals has increased a lot since MacLaren opened in 1926 as the Oregon Reform School.

OYA is making great strides in developing a culture at MacLaren, and its other facilities and field offices, that supports positive youth development and safer communities. At MacLaren, however, OYA is hindered by aging buildings that were designed for a different era when juvenile facilities were modeled after adult correctional institutions. It time to take what we know about best practices in juvenile justice facility design and apply that information to OYA. That knowledge is incorporated into the 10 Year Plan, which OYA developed at the Legislature request.

The 10 Year Plan examined the 10 close custody facilities OYA operates across the state. The two largest MacLaren in Woodburn and Hillcrest in Salem are operating well below capacity and have significant deferred maintenance needs. The 10 Year Plan addresses these issues by merging the two facilities at MacLaren location, which doubles the size of the current youth population and staff at MacLaren. This plan is practical,
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efficient and will save taxpayers funds.

If the plan is approved by the Legislature, OYA would renovate and refurbish the buildings on MacLaren campus to hold the approximately 250 youth who would live there and the approximately 300 staff who would work there, to expand educational and vocational opportunities, and to provide treatment services in appropriate and supportive settings. The fence line and property line will stay the same, but the buildings inside the fence would be upgraded and improved.

The renovated campus would provide:

Adequate space for group and individual treatment sessions;

A larger number of private rooms and fewer dormitory settings to give youth needed privacy and places where they can go to regain emotional control;Higher ceilings, more natural light and refurbished living areas;

Improved recreation space to promote physical and emotional well being.

We are pleased that this plan will enable OYA to continue its commitment to the Woodburn area and will ensure MacLaren remains your neighbor. We thank the Woodburn community for all of the support you offer MacLaren, from mentoring youth at OYA and volunteering in other ways to serving the local business needs of OYA staff. Your support helps make a meaningful difference in the lives of youths,
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their families and communities throughout Oregon.