Problematic Behavior or Activity
The Jail Reentry Program’s target population is medium- to high-risk drug-dependent men at the Marion County Transition Center who are serving serving a county supervisory authority felony “prison” sentence of one year or less. Historically in Marion County, this population of offenders has produced the highest recidivism rates compared to the general jail population. Evidence-based research shows that the first 90 days after release from jail or prison are the most risky for people in terms of rearrest. Their successful reintegration is significantly enhanced by providing quality transitional services during this period. The program was developed to build on the success of other Marion County reentry programs that have significantly reduced recidivism rates, from a high of 37 percent in 2002 to a low of 14 percent in 2014.
Impact on the Community
Taxpayers benefit from reductions in recidivism and the costs of incarceration. The average cost of incarcerating a person in Oregon is $84 per day. Marion County’s most-intensive reentry treatment program costs $39 per day. The community benefits directly from reduced costs, less crime, and the economic contributions made by ex-offenders who are employed. Families benefit when they can be safely reunited and the person who was incarcerated can contribute physically, emotionally, and financially to the well-being of the family unit. Business benefits from reductions in crime and the option of employing successful and motivated ex-offenders. And those individuals obviously benefit by staying in and contributing to the community.
The Jail Reentry Program involves 90 days of treatment delivered by multiple agencies to successfully prepare Marion County Transition Center inmates to transition when they return to the community. Approximately half of the program is delivered in-custody at the Transition Center, with the remainder delivered in alternative custody in the community, such as through electronic monitoring or day reporting programs. Each reentry program group receives an array of services to address specific criminogenic risk factors. The program is delivered in collaboration with the Transition Center, Bridgeway Recovery Services, and the De Muniz Resource Center.
Services include prerelease reach-ins, case planning, motivational and cognitive programming, alcohol and other drug treatment, parenting classes, employment services, housing, mentoring, and access to the De Muniz Resource Center, located at the Transition Center.
All program participants are reviewed, interviewed, and screened by the Transitional Center counselor, who also serves as the supervision officer during the initial 45 days of programming. Once a client completes the first half of the program, supervision is transferred to the Parole and Probation Division Transitional Services Unit for the remainder of the sentence, through post-prison supervision. Bridgeway Recovery Services provides a continuum of care of outpatient substance use treatment. Assessment of criminogenic risk and need are part of treatment and mentoring services, to track progress and identify obstacles. Treatment services include motivation, cognitive programming, substance use programming, education, anger management, self-management, and problem-solving skills. Individual mentoring support accompanies direct treatment services to assist people in their transition.
Based on Research
The Jail Reentry Program adheres to a risk-needs-responsivity framework. Each group receives services to address specific criminogenic risk factors. The program uses evidence-based risk and needs assessments, such as the Public Safety Checklist and the Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI).
The program is partially funded by dedicated state Justice Reinvestment grant funding. That funding covers two deputies at the Transition Center, including one counselor. The remainder of the funding is built into the Marion County Sheriff’s Office budget.
Proposed outcome measures:
In 2015, 59 percent of all people referred to the program graduated. Future outcome measures are expected to reflect:
- Reductions in recidivism;
- Reductions in participants testing positive for alcohol or illegal substances;
- Increases in participants successfully completing program requirements;
- More post-release participants securing employment; and
- More post-release participants securing housing.
Critical Success Factors
Although the Jail Reentry Program is fairly new, the program design is similar to Marion County’s Student Opportunity for Achieving Results (SOAR) program (established in January 2010), which has seen reductions in recidivism and increased graduation and employment rates. Like SOAR program, Jail Reentry Program is committed to being evidence-based, adhering to a risk-need-responsivity framework, and providing interventions that are linked to criminogenic needs. Program staff are highly trained in evidence-based practices.
When developing a program that has multiple partners, it is important to consider potential funding and workload ramifications for all parties. It is also important to have consistent, ongoing meetings to ensure the following:
- The program is being implemented as designed.
- The target population is being consistently identified and the target goals are being reached.
- Problems are resolved when philosophical disagreements occur.
- Partners trust that everyone involved wants to improve public safety.
The Jail Reentry Program—and other programs like it—changes the relationship paradigm between the offender and the criminal justice system, allowing people to see courts, jails, and parole offices in a supportive role rather than just a punitive one. When implementing a program in a minimum-security institutional setting like the Marion County Transition Center, it is important to get all staff—in addition to the program treatment providers—on the same page in terms of best practices to further complement the treatment process.
All Transition Center deputies have been trained in Core Correctional Practices (CCP) that emphasize cognitive and behavioral skill sets that can be implemented by staff to promote behavioral changes when interacting with offenders in a group or one-on-one. Developed by the University of Cincinnati’s Corrections Institute, CCP serves to model pro-social behaviors and reinforce them when clients demonstrate them, in order to encourage repetition. In addition, these skills help program and supervision staff identify antisocial behaviors and attitudes and provide feedback about such behaviors so they can be extinguished and replaced with more constructive alternatives.