Friday, April 28, 2017

Toastmasters Club debates college students at Oregon State Penitentiary (Photo)


News Release from Oregon Dept. of Corrections
Posted on FlashAlert: April 28th, 2017 2:47 PM
Downloadable file: Capital Toastmasters
Downloadable file: OSP's winning team
The Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP) Toastmasters Club hosted a debate with Linfield and Lewis & Clark Colleges on Friday April 7, 2017. The topic was privatized prisons versus Government-run prisons. Each college provided one team (two people and a judge), and the OSP club provided two teams made up of adults in custody and local community members. Each team was made aware of the topic 15 minutes prior to the debate. It was a spirited and entertaining discussion and, in the end, one of the OSP teams arguing in favor of the state prison system pulled off a close win.

The Capital Toastmasters Club provides a mutually supportive and positive learning environment where every individual member has the opportunity to develop oral communication and leadership skills, which in turn fosters self-confidence and personal growth. Members consist of men at OSP as well as people from the community. Toastmasters is about people helping people learn, regardless of where they live. The club offers multiple learning opportunities in preparation for re-entry to society, while building personal confidence and breaking patterns of negative behavior.

Debating utilizes a combination of communication, listening, and thinking skills. Each summer, Professor Dr. Jackson Miller from Linfield College teaches a Parliamentary debate class to Capital Toastmasters. Graduates of the class compete in debates against college students throughout the year, including a large debate tournament with 16 college teams from around the world.

To learn more about the Capital Toastmasters Club, or to schedule a visit, please call (503) 378-2289 or email

OSP is a multi-custody prison located in Salem that houses over 2,000 male inmates. 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.

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