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Clackamas County Transition Center

Clackamas County Transition Center

Clackamas County Community Corrections

Synopsis: A centralized location for access to reentry services aims to decrease jail use by clients in mental health crisis and reduce recidivism for all program participants.


Problematic Behavior or Activity

Every year, 350 people are released from the Department of Corrections to Clackamas County. Another 13,000 are released from the Clackamas County Jail, many with little to no prerelease intervention, assessment, or planning. Whether leaving jail or prison, these offenders often face similar challenges accessing treatment, finding housing and employment, and obtaining health care services. Without prerelease intervention and a warm handoff to the community, these individuals are less likely to successfully transition and more likely to commit new crimes.

In addition, a portion of those releasing from the local jail are considered “frequent flyers.” Many of these individuals suffer from undertreated mental illness and are primarily committing nuisance crimes that cause them to cycle in and out of the system. This population accounts for about 1,825 jail beds per year in Clackamas County. Currently, law enforcement lacks an alternative other than jail for this population.

Impact on the Community

Without ongoing, coordinated support in the community, individuals releasing from custody are more likely to recidivate. This increases victimization and places a strain on already tight criminal justice resources.


Program Description

The Clackamas County Transition Center provides a centralized location where clients releasing from custody or who are at risk of returning to custody can seamlessly access reentry services. These services include health care, treatment, mental health services, peer mentors, employment assistance, housing, and GED programming. For STTL clients, Center staff conduct reach-ins during incarceration to begin assessments, develop a transition plan, and initiate services.

The Transition Center also serves clients with low criminality but a high mental health need when they are in crisis. This gives law enforcement another viable option for these high need clients other than the local jail. Center staff are able to focus on stabilizing the client first and then assist them in accessing services.

Based On Research


This program is funded by a $1,517,273 grant through the 2015-17 Justice Reinvestment Grant Program. This grant supports staff, contractual services for treatment and education, drug testing, program supplies, and equipment.


Program Impact

Proposed outcome measurements:

  • 98% or more of all Short-Term Trans Leave referrals accepted
  • All STTL clients provided reach-in services while in prison
  • Increase in clients engaged in treatment services upon release
  • Decrease in new violations
  • Lower recidivism rates
  • Decrease in use of jail for clients in mental health crisis

Critical Success Factors

The program has not yet been implemented; it is too soon to identify the factors critical to its success.

Lessons Learned

The program has not yet been implemented; it is too soon to provide advice.