Problematic Behavior Or Activity
Based on data the Criminal Justice Commission provided, probation revocations in Douglas County were up 8 percent in 2014-2015 in comparison to 2012-2013. The increased number of revocations appears to be directly related to an increase in the number of technical violations for cases that received downward dispositional departures (sentences less than a statutory mandatory minimum). Furthermore, the length of stay in prison for property and drug offenses has increased across the board for first sentences and probation revocations from 2014-2015. In particular, the average first-sentence length of stay increased by 60 percent from 15.3 months in 2012-2013 to 25 months in 2014-2015.
With increasing lengths of incarceration, Douglas County was doing little to stem the growth of Oregon’s prison population. Given the county’s limited capacity to provide meaningful evidence-based programming to those in local custody, offenders were unlikely to receive the kind of education and recovery support needed to succeed upon completing a local sentence. Similarly, the county’s limited capacity to provide evidence-based programming to people transitioning from the jail’s Residential Substance Abuse Treatment program to the community meant that offenders were at high risk to repeat past criminal behavior, face potential revocation, and return to prison. Without effective programming, people in the community are at higher risk of being victimized; offenders are less likely to be held accountable; and opportunities to help reduce recidivism are missed. All told, these circumstances contribute to a bigger prison population in the state of Oregon.
To address these problems, Douglas County decided to increase its capacity to provide in-jail substance use treatment services and ensure that all offenders who received such treatment then transitioned into the Douglas County Adult Drug Court Program upon their release from jail.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Office added three full-time corrections officers, allowing the agency to add nine jail beds in a pod dedicated to offenders participating in the Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program. This increased the number of beds in the pod to 18. The beds will be used for medium- to high-risk offenders ordered to complete residential treatment within the Douglas County Jail. The RSAT program is designed to be a minimum of 120 days and participants are housed in a pod separate from other inmates. Most RSAT participants will have downward dispositional departures. Offenders will receive evidence-based treatment for substance use disorder consistent with American Society of Addiction Medicine criteria while in custody.
Upon successful completion of the in-custody portion of the RSAT program, offenders will transition into Phase II of the Douglas County Adult Drug Court program, which will serve as the offender’s aftercare program.
Based On Research
The structure of RSAT programs is consistent with evidence-based practices. In Douglas County, the RSAT program will use the Texas Christian University Treatment System, the Public Safety Checklist for Oregon, the Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI), and the Carey Guides.
This program is funded, in part, by a $588,333 grant through the state’s 2015-2017 Justice Reinvestment Grant Program. The grant supports three full-time deputies at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Proposed outcomes include the following:
- The program intends to serve 45-54 offenders per year.
- The county expects to see a reduction in its prison population and future growth of that population, by targeting medium- to high-risk offenders who have downward dispositional departures and would otherwise be sent to prison.
- The program will enhance offender accountability.