Problematic Behavior or Activity
Yamhill County has few community resources that target the employment needs of correctional clients. Additionally, probation officers’ large caseloads limit the assistance each client receives. As a result, it is difficult to meet correctional client employment and educational goals
Impact on the Community
Chronic unemployment, under-education, and an overall lack of resources for correctional clients increase the risk of recidivism.
The Yamhill County Department of Community Justice created the Day Management Center (DMC) to assist with correctional client employment and educational goals and provide an additional layer of accountability and support to probation officers by using enhanced contact standards. DMC provides skills training/practice and community resources and serves as a hub of support services to clients under supervision of the Department of Community Justice. DMC focuses services on medium- and high-risk clients for the purpose of obtaining employment; education and intensive supervision programs are also available (see DMC program flowchart under “Supporting Documents”).
Referrals to the DMC are made by a client’s supervising probation officer (PO). Once the PO completes the referral form, it is sent to the DMC coordinator via e-mail at least one day prior to the client’s intake date. The referral should include the client’s most recent Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI) risk score. Three tracks are available to the client: the Employment Track, Education Track, and Intensive Supervision Track. The PO works with the DMC coordinator to determine the most appropriate track.
EMPLOYMENT TRACK (READY TO WORK):
Ready to Work (RTW) is an ongoing job development program that helps probation clients develop the tools necessary to find employment. The RTW program includes a comprehensive intake interview, career identification and goal setting, career development workshops, and educational opportunities.
RTW consists of a three-tier System. In each of the tiers, clients participate in the program up to five days per week.
• TIER 1 (T1): Intake & Assessment
In Tier 1, clients report to theDMC for a comprehensive intake interview at which time the DMC Coordinator obtains background information related to employment, skills, and other pertinent history. The client and coordinator review the program requirements and set individual goals with action steps. In T1, clients are referred to meet on-site with Goodwill Industries to develop a résumé and access additional resources. Clients registerwith the iMatchSkills employment program through the Oregon Employment Department’s Worksource Oregon network and receive a referral to local temp agencies. Clients establish a reporting schedule (between 9am and noon on days, up to five days a week, as determined by the coordinator). In T1, the client is observed on punctuality, communication, time management, and following directions.
Upon a client’s completion of the above components of T1, the DMC coordinator administers a performance evaluation to determine whether the client is in compliance. The DMC coordinator may promote the client to Tier 2 upon verification of compliance.
• TIER 2 (T2): Skill Building & Job Search
In T2, clients focus on job search, accountability, and skill building. The DMC coordinator works with the client to enhance employability, a process that may include work with interview skills (mock interviewing), role-playing how to answer questions about a criminal record, hygiene/presentation, and application techniques. The coordinator also may refer a client for specific workshops through outside agencies for such as Worksource Oregon, Goodwill Industries, and Hope on the Hill. In T2, the coordinator also works with the client on money management and budgeting skills, developing a budget that can be modified throughout their time at DMC and beyond.
The job search begins during T2, and clients are required to submit a minimum of three new applications per day. They must document their employment contacts for accountability purposes and provide such documentation to the coordinator on their scheduled reporting days.
The goal of T2 is to secure employment. Once a client has obtained employment, the coordinator evaluates the client for promotion to Tier 3.
• TIER 3 (T3): Job Success
Once a client obtains employment, he or she is promoted to T3. This tier focuses on the transition to working full time while managing life outside of work, as well as issues that may arise on the job. A strong focus of T3 is money management/budgeting; the coordinator revisits the previously outlined budget from T2 to assist the client with managing paychecks appropriately.
The client reports weekly (at minimum) by phone to the DMC coordinator for 45 days, with a minimum of one face-to-face contact. If the client continues to be employed after 45 days, the DMC coordinator may recommend the client’s graduation from the RTW program.
Upon successful completion of T3, the client participates in a graduation ceremony with other RTW clients.
The Education Track focuses on connecting the client with local resources in order to pursue a GED, vocational schooling, or other educational opportunities. Clients in the Education Track are assessed, set goals, and develop individualized plans with the coordinator. Clients are continually reassessed and can move to the Employment Track or participate in both tracks, at the coordinator’s discretion.
INTENSIVE SUPERVISION TRACK:
The Intensive Supervision Track targets the unmotivated high-risk client who needs additional structure and would benefit from greater involvement from the Community Justice Department. A focus of this track is on motivation for change and is often done in conjunction with a PO referral to the motivational/cognitive restructuring program track (see DMC program flowchart under “Supporting Documents”). Clients in the Intensive Supervision Track are continually reassessed by the coordinator and can move to the Education or Employment Track at any time or participate in both, at the coordinator’s discretion.
Mentorship Opportunities: For specific graduates of RTW, and as recommended by the DMC
coordinator, clients may participate in some mentorship opportunities such as involvement with the coordinator in the initial intake to demonstrate a real-life example of how the program can be effective and to provide suggestions and guidance to a new client.
Behavior Response: DMC uses a behavior response process to reward positive/pro-social behaviors and correct negative/antisocial behaviors (see DMC behavior response grid under “Supporting Documents”). DMC uses tangible rewards such as the fishbowl method, fee waivers, and vouchers. Behavior correction is also a core principle and is accomplished through motivational interviewing techniques and other evidence-based case management strategies.
Resources & Partnerships: DMC works in partnership with numerous agencies in Yamhill County, including Goodwill Industries, the Oregon Employment Department, Chemeketa Community College, Express Employment Professionals, and Hope on the Hill.
Resources available to DMC clients may include clothing, transportation, assistance in obtaining identification, and access to computers and printers.
Based on Research
- Targeting medium- and high-risk correctional clients (risk principle)
- The Carey Guides
- EPICS (Effective Practices in Community Supervision)
- Motivational interviewing
- LS/CMI and case planning
One (1.0 FTE) Probation Officer Case Aide is assigned to manage this population of approximately 30 correctional clients. Some student interns and volunteers work on this program as needed.
The DMC caseload averages 30 clients at any given time. Most are medium- or high-risk per the LS/CMI. Roughly 28% of probationers that enter the program will go on to obtain jobs and graduate or maintain their employment from 45-90 days.
Critical Success Factors
- Developing relationships with community resource providers, such as employment services
- Dedicated staff trained in evidence-based practices/approaches
- Implementation of a comprehensive client intake
- Use of data collection in decision making
- Collaboration with other like programs to share ideas and assist in evolution of program
- Development of a mentor/peer support program
- Establishment of location in proximity to Probation Department
- Highlighting success stories
- Implementation of rewards/incentives program
- Communication with referring probation officers for support
- Regular program evaluations for improvement
- Develop a detailed work plan/goal list with timelines in place to accomplish steps.
- Develop a streamlined/automated referral system.
- Collaborate with other like programs to share ideas and assist in the evolution of the program.
- Market the program by highlighting successful completions and client outcomes.
- Develop a decision support/data tracking system for reference and to guide decision making.
- Adopt the risk principle, prioritizing high- and medium-risk clients.
- Develop a system for positive and negative behavior responses to provide program structure.