Among those recognized were Operation Babylift volunteers, who support inamtes who give birth in prison

Coffee Creek Correctional Facility honored a host of employees and citizen volunteers recently at an annual awards ceremony.

The event was held in honor of National Corrections Employees Week, which is observed from May 4 through 10 across the country. Employees from Oregon’s 14 state prisons were recognized for meritorious service ranging from saving the life of inmates in distress to service on behalf of the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act, or PREA, enacted by Congress.

At Coffee Creek, Physical Plant Manager Forrest Lyons received a certificate for meritorious service. Corrections Captain Alana Bruns, Lt. Amanda Rasmussen and Medical Services Manager Dave Brown each received an outstanding service award for their work implementing PREA standards. Corrections Officer Laurie Frasco received a lifesaving award for helping an inmate in danger.

Length of service awards also were given to 20- and 25-year employees. Lyons, Kathleen Charpentier, Corrections Officer Gayle Richardson, Lt. Laura Onstott and Sgt. Essex Houston each were honored for 20 years of service, while Captain Derek McCorkhill and Sgt. David Drikx were honored for 25 years of service.

Local residents who volunteer their time at Coffee Creek and other corrections institutions around the state also were honored with a plaque and certificate last Monday. In Wilsonville, volunteer Grant Marsh was named an Outstanding Citizen for his volunteer work with Coffee Creek’s prison advisory committee, a group of citizen appointees tasked with providing an outside level of oversight as well as support to the state’s prisons.

Marsh is a senior vice president at Argyle Capital LLC of Lake Oswego, the company responsible in 2002 for bringing the huge Argyle Square development anchored by Costco and Target to Wilsonville.

Finally, six volunteers involved with Operation Babylift were honored for their outstanding work on behalf of Coffee Creek inmates who find themselves giving birth while incarcerated. Volunteers Cheryl Scott, Linda Shannon, Karen Haltiner, Barbara Edwards, Barbara Bodyfelt and Elizabeth Clark all were given plaques commemorating their work at Coffee Creek.

Scott has been at the helm of Babylift for the past 10 years. The group delivers care baskets full of basic supplies and other necessities to all mothers from Coffee Creek who give birth while serving their sentences.

“It is very fulfilling,” Scott said, "but we tell the moms the reason we do this is so we can hold the babies.”

During 2013, 19 babies were born to mothers at Coffee Creek. So far in 2014, 11 babies are expected.

For a Caesarean delivery, the mother will stay in the hospital for two days. For other deliveries, the mother will stay in the hospital for as few as 12 hours after the baby is born.

While at the hospital delivering the starter box, Scott also will take a photo of mother and baby and deliver prints as part of the gift package. Volunteer Becky Wiggin said this is often the only photo of a unique moment the mother will be able to carry forward with her.

“That helps with the post-partum depression and separation from the infant,” she said.

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