PROBLEMATIC BEHAVIOR OR ACTIVITY
Following the passage of Oregon’s House Bill 3194, more offenders were sentenced to downward departure (imposing a less severe sentence than what would typically apply under sentencing guidelines) or optional probation. Many downward-departure offenders did not receive treatment services and were in the precontemplation stage of change (i.e., they are not even considering changing). They routinely violated their conditions of supervision and, in light of the county’s zero-tolerance policy, were often sanctioned with time in jail.
IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY
Without adequate supervision and case plans informed by comprehensive risk and needs assessments, offenders are less likely to succeed in the community, which is often reflected in increased rates of noncompliance, recidivism, and revocation of probation. This endangers public safety and places the community at risk of increased crime and victimization.
Coos County Community Corrections created a specialized caseload of offenders who are sentenced to downward departure or optional probation. A dedicated probation officer supervises these caseloads. Each of these offenders receives an assessment and case plan at intake, followed by appropriate referrals to treatment programs and other recovery support services. For prison-eligible offenders, an assessment is completed post-sentence and presented to the district attorney and court, along with a case plan. If an offender violates the conditions of supervision and requires a jail sanction, the probation officer will reevaluate the case plan while making sure the supervisee is connected to the substance use disorder treatment groups in the jail. The officer will also consider revising the post-release course of action and case plan . With a dedicated probation officer, the Coos County Community Corrections agency and District Attorney’s Office can focus on moving away from the zero-tolerance policy.
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
- Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI)
- Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)
This program is funded primarily by the state’s 2015-2017 Justice Reinvestment Grant. For a two-year period, $708,508 is allocated to Coos County Community Corrections for the implementation of this project, as follows:
- $387,804 supports Community Corrections staff.
- $222,084 funds District Attorney Office’s staff.
- $12,620 pays for materials.
- $12,000 supports housing.
- $74,000 supports alcohol and other drug treatment.
The program’s goal is to serve a total of 40 downward-departure or optional probation offenders in an effort to reduce recidivism and the use of prison.
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.