Problematic Behavior or Activity
For many years, Klamath County’s public safety agencies have suffered from severe budget cuts, resulting in downsizing and reduced services. The Klamath County Jail was reduced from 154 jail beds to 56 beds in July 2010. Although 44 beds were reopened in 2011, the county’s needs are not being met.
As a result, from 2010 to 2015, Klamath County released numerous jail inmates early, based on a matrix system that scores inmates and identifies those who are the lowest threat to public safety. The county also implemented “do not lodge” criteria, which resulted in more than 349 offenders not being placed in the jail. The crimes that meet the “do not lodge” criteria included Burglary I, Burglary II, Theft I, Theft II, Theft III, all drug charges, and all driving charges; most failure to appear warrants and probation violation warrants for non-person crimes are also included.
Impact on the Community
With fewer jail beds, people on probation or parole were being booked and released for sanctions—or serving only a short period for significant violations. Court sentences were also not fully served and the county’s failure to appear rates increased due to limited capacity. This limited the ability to impose swift, certain sanctions for probation and post-prison supervision violations. Without the ability to lodge offenders for sanctions, violations, and warrants, it was impossible to meet Oregon’s goals of Justice Reinvestment and House Bill 3194 in Klamath County.
The Klamath County Jail Treatment program is part of an overall effort to meet the four goals of HB 3194: reduce recidivism, increase public safety, increase offender accountability, and reduce the prison population.
As a function of the Klamath Evidence-Based Sentencing (KEBS) program, offenders are referred to the jail treatment program. Using the Public Safety Checklist for Oregon, prosecutors identify medium- and high-risk offenders; most of them have committed property crimes and qualify for a prison sentence. Additional assessments are conducted by Klamath County Community Corrections (KCCC), using the Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI), Texas Christian University (TCU) resources, and the University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale (URICA). KCCC staff then make a recommendation to the DA and court that includes an opinion about the individual’s suitability or a community sentence, the establishment of conditions of supervision, and guidance as to whether the offender is suitable for the jail treatment program.
The Treatment program involves the following:
- Alcohol, drug, and cognitive programs are delivered to medium- and high-risk offenders at the Klamath County jail. The offenders may be housed separately from the general population and incentives may be used to influence participation, including a reduction in sanctions.
- Participants receive substance use and mental health assessments.
- Participants receive evidence-based cognitive behavioral treatment, implemented at a dosage of up to six hours per day of group and individual counseling, using an evidence-based curriculum.
- Support and self-help services are also available, including Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, and religious services.
- The private nonprofit corporation Klamath Basin Behavioral Health provides the cognitive behavioral treatment, which includes: “Thinking for a Change,” TCU’s “Understanding and Reducing Angry Feelings,” and Moral Reconation Therapy.
KCCC staff assist with case-management duties, including preparing a release plan for each offender leaving local custody, including continued substance use treatment, mental health services, and cognitive programming as the individual transitions back into the community. The release plan ensures that the offender is enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan and released to clean and sober housing; the plan will also aim to remove any barriers that may hinder the individual’s ability to succeed.
Based on Research
The program uses the following evidence-based practices:
- TCU’s “Understanding and Reducing Angry Feelings”
- Moral Reconation Therapy
- University of Rhode Island Change Assessment Scale
- Public Safety Checklist for Oregon
- American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria
- “Thinking for a Change”
This program is funded partially by a $1,076,857 grant through the state’s 2015-2017 Justice Reinvestment Grant Program. The grant supports four deputy positions in the jail, a behavioral health coordinator, space rental in the jail, supplies, training, administrative expenses, and medical, food and clothing expenses.
- 15 male offenders will participate in treatment programming 5 days per week with an average attendance period of at least 15 days for initial stabilization.
- Gender-responsive treatment will be available and provided to five female offenders housed in a separate part of the jail, with an average attendance period of at least 15 days.
- 100 offenders will be referred from jail to community treatment services for community-based mental health/substance use treatment services.
- 100 offenders referred to community-based treatment will be monitored to see if their recidivism rate is lower than that of a comparison group
- 100 offenders referred to community-based treatment will be monitored to determine whether the commitment rate to DOC for the group is lower than that of a comparison group.
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.