The use of reach-in to improve the transition process is explained. Reach-in "provides a simple method of contacting an offender prior to release from prison or jail custody for the purpose of coordinating services upon release" (p. 49). This article is comprised of these sections: Oregon's model for post-prison supervision; what reach-in is; the reach-in process; partnerships between counties and the Oregon Department of Corrections; and indicators of success -- recidivism dropped from 37.5% to 23% due in part to the contributing factor of reach-in.
Your agency might consider this amazingly innovative strategy or a similar one for addressing mental health in your supermax or administrative segregation units. "Prison officials across the United States have spent the last few years debating how to help tens of thousands of prisoners cope in solitary confinement, the housing of last resort for violent, combative, or escape-prone inmates. Many human rights groups condemn the highly restrictive cells as an incubator for mental illness. About 19 months ago, Snake River officials turned for help from an offbeat source, a globetrotting forest ecologist more familiar with the canopies of Costa Rica's rainforests than the internal struggles of prisoners kept month after month in isolated quarters. What emerged was a one-of-a-kind sanctuary known as the Blue Room. Inside a converted recreation room, prisoners deprived of wind and sunsets and trees can reconnect with sights and sounds of the natural world. A video projector casts images against a wall: Big Sur, a brook in a dark forest, a tropical beach and 30 other nature videos. The plan to calm prisoners and make them less violent shows promise." This article explains how a 5-minute TED (Technology, Education, Design) talk by Nalini Nadkarni resulted in the development and implementation of the Blue Room which is located in the IMU (Intensive Management Unit) – a 20 tier contained section of the Snake River Correctional Institution. The costs for this program run about $1,500. While the data is preliminary, the rate of disciplinary infractions is higher for those inmates who did not use the Blue Room compared to the rate for those inmates who did.
"People leaving prison often return to the community lacking health insurance and thus access to appropriate health care. Many have mental illness, substance abuse, and other health issues that need treatment and compound reintegration challenges. Left untreated, they are at risk of falling into a cycle of relapse, reoffending, and reincarceration. Providing Medicaid coverage upon release has the potential to improve continuity of care that may interrupt this cycle. This report examines whether efforts to enroll people in Medicaid prior to their release from prison are successful in generating health insurance coverage after release. Urban Institute (Urban) researchers analyzed data from Oregon’s pre-Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid program to determine the extent to which released prisoners successfully gained coverage" (p. 1). The results from this study my help your state in ensuring continuity of care for newly released offenders.
"Oftentimes, parole and probation officers are the only positive role models offenders have. About a decade ago, criminologists began asking if parole and probation visits were a missed opportunity for law enforcement. What if officers developed a more supportive relationship with offenders? What if they demonstrated to clients that they weren’t just checking boxes and delivering sanctions? The working theory was that given some personal attention, offenders might be more receptive to advice about resolving conflicts and avoiding crime. Amid a flurry of academic journal articles and pilot projects, researchers from the University of Cincinnati developed EPICS, short for Effective Practices in Community Supervision, a new model for structured face-to-face meetings between officers and their clients … Since 2006, more than 80 state and county criminal justice departments have adopted EPICS , including Multnomah County. By focusing on behavioral change, rather than just threats of being thrown back in jail, EPICS and similar efforts may help break the cycle of incarceration … The guiding principle behind EPICS is that offenders need help learning how to approach life in a more constructive way. If they’re offered drugs, they need to know how to weigh the long-term cost of incarceration against the short-term benefit of getting high. They need to practice overriding impulsive responses to situations. More broadly, they need to understand how their default thought patterns, without a conscious effort to change, will lead to further crime and punishment" (p. 36-37). This article discusses: what EPICS entails—the four steps of check-in, review, intervention, and homework; difference between EPICS and traditional community supervision; the "black box" of EPICS' effectiveness; potential success of EPICS in Multnomah County, Oregon; the need for program fidelity; the fact that EPICS adds structure to offender-officer interactions and facilitating criminal behavior change; while some officers like EPICS, others don't; some offenders don't like it either; the future.
“This paper presents evidence for why Corrections should take the humanist, spiritual, and religious [H/S/R] self-identities of people in prison seriously, and do all it can to foster and support those self-identities, or ways of establishing meaning in life. Humanist, spiritual, and religious (H/S/R) pathways to meaning can be an essential part of the evidence-based responsivity principle of effective correctional programming, and the desistance process for men and women involved in crime. This paper describes the sociology of the H/S/R involvement of 349 women and 3,009 men during the first year of their incarceration in the Oregon prison system. Ninety-five percent of the women and 71% of the men voluntarily attended at least one H/S/R event during their first year of prison. H/S/R events were mostly led by diverse religious and spiritual traditions, such as Native American, Protestant, Islamic, Wiccan, Jewish, Jehovah Witness, Latter-day Saints/Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, Buddhist, and Catholic, but, increasingly, events are secular or humanist in context, such as education, yoga, life-skills development, non-violent communication, and transcendental meditation groups. The men and women in prison had much higher rates of H/S/R involvement than the general population in Oregon. Mirroring gender-specific patterns of H/S/R involvement found in the community, women in prison were much more likely to attend H/S/R events than men.”
This webinar explains how your agency can utilize funds from Title IV of the Social Security Act, Part E – Federal Payments for Foster Care and Adoption Assistance for programming in your agency. Topics discussed include: what Title IV-E is; classification of Title IV-E claiming; what juvenile agencies can receive Title IV-E reimbursements for; developing and implementing a Title IV-E Claiming Program; stakeholders need for collaboration; the critical role of the Oregon Department of Human Services in collaboration; the critical role of the Multnomah County Circuit Court; implementing the Title IV-E program—a myriad of changes in business practices; why implementation is so monumental; innovation in action—Youth Villages Intercept Model; programs and services to be funded in the upcoming fiscal year by Title IV-E; recommendations for Title IV-E implementation; Administration for Children and Families (ACF) regions; child welfare placement authority; three components of a Title IV-E Administrative Claim; definition of a reasonable candidate; court orders and case plans; and benefits for your department.
Some of the improvements made to Oregon's offender reentry transition process are highlighted. Partnerships include: the Oregon Trail Card (debit card); identification and driver's license; transitional housing; family planning; pro-social supports; and the Governor's Re-Entry Council.