Problematic Behavior or Activity
The Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Center (NORCOR) has seen an increasing number of repeat offenders and parole/probation violators who are suffering from either a mental health condition or some form of substance abuse. The recidivism rate of those released from NORCOR is more than 60 percent. This has put an increased burden on the NORCOR facility and the counties it serves.
Impact on the Community
When offenders continue to cycle through the system, the result is increased victimization in the community and greater use of custody beds, at a cost to the county and state.
NORCOR’s reentry program is designed to provide a seamless plan of services and supervision from remand to discharge from community supervision. The program uses a three-phased approach. Phase One consists of an initial screening, assessment, and referral to inmate programming. In Phase Two, offenders complete programming, as well as release preparation and planning. In Phase Three, they are released to community supervision and services that continue through their transition, reintegration, and aftercare in the community.
Offenders qualify for the program based on their Level of Service Inventory–Revised (LSI-R) score. All medium- and high-risk offenders enter into Phase One of the program. Depending on their assessment, offenders will be referred to substance abuse treatment, cognitive behavioral treatment, anger management, parenting classes, and/or job readiness/reentry programming.
- Uses validated risk-assessment tool
- Addresses specific criminogenic needs
This program is partially funded through the state’s 2015-17 Justice Reinvestment Grant Program. $38,116 from Wasco County and $76,828 from Hood River County’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative allocations help support a mental health clinician and program director.
Proposed outcomes include:
- Increase in number of medium- and high-risk offenders who access programming
- Reduction in recidivism for those released from NORCOR
*Year One Update*
NORCOR’s reentry program was implemented in January 2016. In the first year the program has identified 234 individuals, 8 cohorts who met the initial criteria of being at medium or high risk of re-offending and participated for at least 30 days.
A treatment cohort formed every six weeks and involved a treatment group and a control group. The treatment groups consisted of people who had successfully completed the treatment program (Anger Management, Criminal Attitudes, Substance Abuse and Parenting). The control groups were made up of individuals who refused treatment, quit treatment, or were released from treatment before they completed it. Reviews of recidivism (returning to jail for any reason) were conducted at 30, 60, 120, 180 and days and will be reviewed at one year and three years.
As of February 2017, 87 participants have completed treatment and been released for at least 60 days. Of those people, only 33 (37 percent) have returned. In the first year, 147 people have been placed in the control group and have been out for at least 60 days; 64 individuals (44 percent) have returned to jail. Both groups have significantly lower recidivism rates than NORCOR’s typical 70 percent rate over 60 days.
The program will expand its focus and treatment resources to the chronically mentally ill population and to people who are dually diagnosed. By employing an enhanced case management model and collaborating with the program’s community provider, NORCOR has reduced the severely and persistently mentally ill population from 43 in February 2016 to 17 in December 2016. With enhanced in-house treatment services, it is hoped that the program will be able to reduce that number even further.