Problematic Behavior Or Activity
Lake County is a large geographical area with a small population. Per capita, the county has significant illicit substance use; this and related issues drive much of the area’s criminal activity.
With the passage of Oregon’s House Bill 3194 in 2013, many offenders who would have been sent to prison have an opportunity to remain in the community and receive services to support their recovery efforts. Without intensive supervision and collaboration among public safety partners, this medium- and high-risk population has historically been unlikely to engage in treatment services and more likely to recidivate. This population poses a risk to public safety unless we address their substance use issues.
The new law emphasized reducing the state prison population. This helped Lake County courts, prosecutors, and other actors realize the value of moving away from a “zero tolerance” policy that can result in revocation of an offender’s probation for behavior that may be more effectively dealt with in a community setting. To change its approach and provide more effective supervision, Lake County looked to the drug courts and other specialty courts as models.
Lake County developed a hybrid drug court that is suitable to a jurisdiction with a relatively small population. The specialty court draws on the National Association of Drug Court Professionals’ 10 Key Components of a Drug Court and provides comprehensive treatment and supervision services to a variety of medium- and high-risk/need offenders who would typically be served by multiple types of specialty courts (such as mental health court or veterans court). Having a single specialty court serving multiple needs was more practical for Lake County.
Based On Research
This program is funded primarily by the state Justice Reinvestment Grant. For a two-year period, $150,391 is allocated to Lake County Community Corrections for the operation of a treatment court. $16,198 has been allocated to a treatment court coordinator; $10,000 for subsidized housing; $30,000 for mental health treatment; $20,000 for materials and supplies; $34,193 for training staff; and $40,000 for residential treatment beds.
This program is in early implementation. Output and outcome data is being collected on a quarterly basis and the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission continues to track recidivism and prison utilization data. The program has a target of serving 40 optional probation/downward-departure participants but will entertain people with other convictions when prison is not an option based on the seriousness of the crime or prior convictions.
Critical Success Factors
This program is in early implementation; it is too soon to identify the factors critical to its success.
This program is in early implementation; it is too soon to provide advice.