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The development of pre-employment training, workplace competencies, on-the-job training and work experience are essential to an effective transitional program for juveniles in corrections. Cameline Beauty School, a component of the Robert Farrell School, is an example of this type of program. Robert Farrell School, a fully accredited middle school and high school, is located on the campus of the Hillcrest Oregon Youth Correctional Facility in Salem. Hillcrest serves male and female students between the ages of 12 and 25. The school enrolls an average of 185 youths and includes general education, special education, post-high school and intake services.

Creating the Program

The Cameline cosmetology program provides a highly structured environment in which students study and learn hair design and/or nail technology. The beauty school began in the late 1950s when the Hillcrest facility had an all-female population; however, today the school and the beauty program include female and male students. To enroll in the cosmetology curriculum, students must be at least 16 years old; be recommended by their teachers; have clearance from their treatment manager; have a clean record of behavior activity in the school; and have been in attendance at the school for at least 30 days. Preference is given to high school graduates and those who have completed their GEDs. On occasion, high school students are selected for the program and may earn elective credits toward graduation.


Cameline endeavors to provide students with a high degree of academic knowledge and practical skills to prepare students to take qualifying exams for licensing or certification. It also teaches technical skills related to bookkeeping, filing and recordkeeping to help students learn to manage business records and documents efficiently. Students are given the opportunity to develop: business career potential; an understanding of the importance of professional/technical training and of professional business ethics and attitudes; and the ability to communicate effectively in a business environment. Students must demonstrate the proper use of supplies and equipment as well as sanitation and safety skills. They must also be able to implement standard business practices and procedures using contemporary technologies.

The cosmetology program became state certified in the 1970s so that students wanting to continue their training after leaving the facility could receive credits for schooling completed while enrolled in the Robert Farrell program. Students may earn their Oregon state certification upon completion of these courses by studying and completing the compulsory activities under the tutelage of a licensed instructor. The instructor for this unique program must be certified by the Oregon State Board of Cosmetology in each of the areas he or she teaches (hair design, barbering, facial technology and/or nail technology) and by the Oregon Department of Education as a professional technical teacher in the cosmetology field. In addition, he or she must hold a licensure through Oregon State Teachers Standards and Practices, in order to award high school credits for courses completed by students. Anne Smalley, Robert Farrell's former cosmetology instructor, is the only person in Oregon to possess all three of these certifications and licensures. (1)


Student Lessons

In Cameline Beauty School, students learn all aspects of hair design and nail technology. Hair design services include hair cutting using scissors and clippers, air waving, bleaching, color weaving, conditioning, iron curling, relaxing, shampooing, styling and tinting. Students perform these services with a variety of hair textures, including coarse, fine, thick, thin and curly/wavy hair. A minimum number of training hours in these services are required prior to working on clients, so all students start their practical work on mannequins. This ensures students will be able to work on clients in a safe, sanitary and caring manner. They also perform some services on other cosmetology students to practice.


Along with the practical work, all hair design students are required to do academic work. The academic study includes all areas of hair design, as well as diseases and disorders of the skin, career development, chemistry, Oregon laws and OSHA laws, safe use and storage of chemicals, and safety and sanitation. Hair design students put in a minimum of 1,450 hours in hair design theory and practical work, 150 hours of safety and sanitation, and 100 hours of career development--for a total class time of 1,700 hours. (2) Through the salon management portion of the curriculum, School to Work, 2+2 Credit and College Credit Now classes are also incorporated into the cosmetology program. School to Work classes integrate academic and occupational learning; 2+2 Credit classes offer college credit for high school courses upon completion of an extra exam; and College Credit Now classes allow students to earn high school and college credit concurrently. A student may also receive high school and community college credit for filing, bookkeeping and recordkeeping if he or she maintains a 75 percent or better in the class. These classes are directly related to the necessary employment skills a certified cosmetologist needs in order to maintain a job in the workplace.

In addition, the nail technology students are required to perform a minimum number of exercise services on mannequin hands. Practice manicuring sessions are also held with other cosmetology students and volunteers who come in to have freshman students work on their hands, nails and feet. All areas of nail technology are covered, including manicure, pedicure, artificial nails and nail wraps. Academic classes are mandatory and include basic knowledge of manicure, pedicure, diseases and disorders of the hands and nails, and proper use of equipment and implements. Nail technicians put in 350 hours of manicuring theory and practical work, 100 hours of career development, and 150 hours of safety and sanitation for a total of 600 in-class hours. (3) If residents take both areas of study at the same time, they are credited with shared time for career development and safety and sanitation hours. The combined hair design and nail technology courses add up to 2,050 hours of classroom time.

Safety Concerns

Working in a correctional institution brings numerous safety and security concerns for Robert Farrell's vocational programs. General safety and security policies and procedures have been established to protect staff and students, and they must be strictly adhered to in the school and the classroom. More specific procedures have been developed for a few of the vocational programs that present more risk--the food preparation program where students use knives, mixers and ovens; the sewing program where needles, scissors and reapers are used; and the beauty school where students use scissors, clippers and chemicals. Safety and security is considered when selecting students for the cosmetology program. Oregon Youth Authority and school staff are encouraged to look for the following characteristics in candidates: positive attitude and behavior, reliability, responsibility, safe behavior, self-initiative, academic ability and progress, and social maturity when working with male and female individuals. Students must demonstrate satisfactory progress on their living units in regard to behavior and treatment issues.

A beauty school has many "sharps" (sharp metal items) and caustic chemicals that are used daily, whether practicing on mannequins or serving clients. To address this area of safety, a sharps cupboard has been designed to hold metal sharps such as scissors, thinning shears, nail clippers, cuticle nippers, crochet hooks, tweezers and any other implements that would fit the sharp metal category. The cupboard is designed so all sharps are visible to the instructor. The cupboard contains a set of number tags, and students are assigned a corresponding number. Whenever a student needs a sharp item, his or her tag is placed on that sharps' hook in the cupboard. The list of students and their assigned numbers is next to the cupboard, along with a sharps inventory list. The inventory is checked at the end of each class period. Similarly, chemicals of any type are stored in locked cabinets and distributed to students only for a particular client service and under direct supervision of the trained instructor. These extra precautions are necessary in a correctional setting for the protection of both students and staff.

Serving the Community

The cosmetology program is fortunate to have a large source of clientele because the program provides all of the hair and nail services to residents of the Hillcrest campus. Cameline benefits from OYA staff, Willamette Education Service District staff and community volunteers who frequent Cameline for their hair and nail services. The volunteers and staff play an extremely important part in the training of the cosmetology students. They represent the type of clientele the students will serve when they begin work in a community salon. Trust is one of the most important factors staff and volunteers provide the cosmetology students. By allowing the students to perform services, clients give cosmetology students a huge boost in their self-esteem and confidence in their abilities.

Basic services like cuts, styling or manicures are free to campus residents. However, students do pay a minimal fee for any service that involves a chemical such as color, perms, relaxers and artificial nails. Campus and school staff are charged a reduced price for all services. Residents and staff are also able to purchase hair care items such as shampoo, conditioners, gels, mouse, hair spray, grease, combs and brushes in Cameline's retail store. Personal care items such as hand lotions, body washes, lip balm and facial cleansers are also available for purchase. The self-supporting retail store sells items at just slightly more than cost. The small profit allows indigent students to obtain items from the retail store. OYA staff forward any product requests by these students to the cosmetology teacher. In addition, proceeds are used to purchase professional kits for all graduates of the cosmetology program that include equipment and supplies necessary to get a job in the community. For hair design students, the kit includes clippers, scissors, blow dryers, iron curlers, flat irons, combs, brushes, capes, gloves and color application items. Nail technician graduates are given a kit that includes all manicure and pedicure implements, artificial nail kits and more.


Another community-outreach element of the program is its involvement with the Locks of Love charity. Locks of Love is a Florida-based program that accepts donated lengths of hair (10 inches and longer) and makes hair pieces for young boys and girls who have lost their hair, usually due to an illness such as cancer. Cosmetology students cut this hair with pride and accomplishment, knowing the donated hair will be used to create the highest quality hair prosthetics for financially disadvantaged children.

Shear Success

During the past six years, 12 students have graduated from Cameline, all of whom have passed the state certification. Five of the graduates are known to be currently employed in salons in their communities; two of the graduates are presently working on transferring their certifications to other states; and one graduate is still incarcerated. Twenty students who began but did not complete the program at Robert Farrell have requested that their transcripts and educational records be sent to various beauty schools throughout the state.

The Robert Farrell cosmetology program serves its students and clients in countless ways. Skills the students learn provide them with the necessary competencies to move forward with their lives and become thriving and contributing members of society. Students leave with knowledge related to hair and nail design in addition to transferable skills, including teamwork, personal management, problem-solving, career development, employment foundations and communication. The cosmetology students provide a range of services to campus youths--versus the once-a-month standardized haircut offered in most correctional institutions--that build self-esteem in both the clients and cosmetology students. The students are seen as positive role models and leaders in the school and campuswide. If the goal of correctional education is to provide learning opportunities and career skills for students that will facilitate a successful transition back into society, then a barber school or cosmetology program should certainly be a consideration for other juvenile correctional facilities.


(1) State of Oregon, Board of Cosmetology. 2007. Cosmetology in Oregon. Available at view.shtml.

(2) State of Oregon, Licenses, Permits and Registrations. 2007. Barber/Hairdresser/Facial Technology and Nail Technology Teacher Registration. Available at fuseaction=license_wlcm&pfa=welcome_keyword&link_item_id=14 611.

(3) Ibid.

Barbara Moody, Ph.D., is the special education team leader, and Anne Smalley has now retired from her position as the cosmetology instructor at Robert Farrell School.
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Title Annotation:Cameline Beauty School in prisons
Author:Moody, Barbara; Smalley, Anne
Publication:Corrections Today
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2008
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