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Jackson County man dies in state prison

A man who failed to complete Jackson County drug court requirements and was sent to prison has died at the state-run Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla.

The Oregon Department of Corrections announced Kenneth James Allen, 23, died unexpectedly Sunday at the prison. Next of kin have been notified.

A cause of death is not yet available, department spokeswoman Kaycie Thompson said Monday.

Prison staff members were attending to complaints by Allen when he became unresponsive. Security and medical staff immediately began life-saving efforts, which continued until Umatilla emergency medical technicians arrived and pronounced Allen dead at 11:09 a.m., the Oregon Department of Corrections said in a news release.

As with all unanticipated deaths of state prison inmates, the Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation.

Thompson said she did not know how long the investigation would take, especially since it's being conducted by OSP and is not an internal investigation.

Allen had been convicted of multiple theft and drug charges in Jackson County Circuit Court. His crimes ranged from trying to sell sheets stolen from Walmart to stealing guns from a relative and giving them to a drug dealer to settle a $1,000 unpaid drug debt, according to court records.

Allen was allowed to enter the county's Recovery Opportunity Court for felons with drug problems in June 2015, court records show.

But a December 2015 Treatment Court Revocation Report by his probation officer said he was not complying with the standards of the court program.

"Mr. Allen's conformance is very poor. He has been in the R.O.C. program for six months and has failed to even begin the process of compliance. He has continued to use illegal controlled substances and lie about his use; miss groups, miss urinalysis tests and ignore the gift he was given when allowed to be a participant in R.O.C.," the report said.

While living at a relative's house, Allen had scales, a folding knife and foil with burnt residue. He used the relative's computer to make drug deals, the report said.

The probation officer recommended that Allen's probation be revoked and he be sent to prison to serve out a sentence.

On Jan. 12, 2016, Allen's drug court participation was terminated, court records show.

Allen entered Oregon Department of Corrections custody on Jan. 14, 2016, on three counts of theft and one count of heroin possession.

His expected release date was a few months away on Dec. 22, according to the department.

Reach staff reporter Vickie Aldous at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.