Built by inmates at Warner Creek Correctional Facility, a new sign marking the music department for Lakeview High School and Daly Middle School was delivered in November.
Based on design suggestions collected from students as well the music instructor, Jenna Kohut, the final completed sign was hand-delivered in person by WCCF Supt. Steve Brown as well as Stephanie Johnston and Lisa Carpenter. The sign is the latest project produced by WCCF inmates through the Physical Plant Adults in Custody Creative Arts Program (CAPS). The new sign replaces an older worn-out sign outside of the music building at LHS.
The CAPS program was started in 2010, and over the years has created many different projects – from dollhouses to dressers, lodge pole beds, fire pits, and cribbage boards. The Physical Plant of WCCF, where products are made, currently has 18 adults in custody working, though only a handful of this group work in carpentry, welding and paint shop to create the music sign.
“Products are continuously made as it keeps the workers busy,” said Johnson, assistant to the WCCF superintendent. “We get requests from local community groups, non-profit organizations and government agencies throughout the year, and if we have an item or items on hand we will gladly donate. We also produce items for auction or purchase to benefit the Governor’s food drive every February – raising money for our local food banks in Lakeview, Paisley and Summer Lake. Through fundraisers, monetary donations and non-perishable food donations, we average over 10,000 pounds of food donated per year.”
The sign concept was first pitched by Carpenter, whose son performs in the Daly Middle School band. Carpenter brought a picture of the old sign to Brown and suggested WCCF adults in the Physical Plant produce a replacement. Carpenter contacted Kohut, who asked students to submit ideas for a new sign, which in turn were provided to adults in custody to come up with the final design and do the welding and carpentry work.
According to Johnson, the finished sign took approximately nine hours of work by adults in custody at WCCF utilizing the metal, paint and woodshop. The nine hours of work were stretched out across a month, as priority is placed on operational needs at the facility. Typically donation projects are only worked on when other needs in the shop are slow.
“Projects like this allow the adults in custody to give back to the communities that the Department of Corrections serves,” said Brown. “The adults in custody take pride in their work and it is demonstrated in the quality of work they produce. By providing meaningful work experiences to the adults in custody our hope is they develop the appropriate skills to be successful in their communities upon release.”
In addition to the Physical Plant, WCCF also has work crews available for various projects around the region, and prepare firewood every year for winter that is distributed by the Justice Department to qualifying residents through a contract with Klamath-Lake Community Action Services (KLCAS).
Warner Creek Correctional Facility is a 490-bed minimum-release corrections facility located north of Lakeview. If there is a project that the WCCF Physical Plant could possibly produce for the community, contact WCCF at 541-947-8200 for more information.