Marion County SB 416 Alternative Program

Marion County Sheriff's Office

A program constructed to develop and implement evidence-based strategies to improve the supervision of probationers and reduce recidivism.

Correctional

Justice Reinvestment

Supervision

Problem Icon Problem

PROBLEMATIC BEHAVIOR OR ACTIVITY

From July 2009 through 2010, Marion County had the highest rate of prison intakes of any Oregon county, at 2.38 admissions per 1,000 people. Marion County has continued to lead the state in prison admissions for property and drug offenses.

IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY

By incarcerating an immoderate number of nonviolent drug and property offenders, Marion County was tying up prison beds that could be used for high-risk offenders who present the greatest threat to our community. This approach to managing these nonviolent offenders was expensive. It also delayed the administering of effective community-based services to this population. These services have been shown to reduce the likelihood of future criminal behavior.

Solution Icon Solution

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Marion County District Attorney’s Office and Bridgeway Recovery Services, constructed the SB 416 program to develop and implement evidence-based strategies to improve the supervision of probationers and reduce recidivism. The program focuses on prison-bound people who commit nonviolent drug and property crimes. The mission of SB 416 is to reduce recidivism, protect the public, and hold offenders accountable by providing intensive community supervision and case management, substance-use treatment programming, and mentoring services, as well as direct access to employment services, housing, education, and transportation.

The five objectives that frame the program:

  1. Develop an evidence-based sentencing program using risk and needs assessments.
  2. Develop partnerships with the district attorney’s office and the courts.
  3. Provide evidence-based cognitive, motivation, substance-use treatment, and mentoring services.
  4. Provide an appropriate level of case management that ensures coordinated delivery of client services.
  5. Collect and analyze project data and related outcome measures.

Eligibility:

  • Nonviolent property and drug offenders
  • Residents of Marion County
  • Medium to high risk, as identified by the Public Safety Checklist (PSC, an actuarial risk assessment tool that uses offender characteristics to predict recidivism) and the Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI) risk and needs assessment
  • Substance-use issues and motivation to receive programming

Excluded from the program:

  • Person-to-person offenders (such as violent offenders and sex offenders)
  • Offenders with serious mental health conditions

The district attorney’s office is the referring agency and gatekeeper. The DA’s staff uses the PSC to determine initial program eligibility. Eligible candidates are referred to the Parole and Probation Division of the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to schedule an LS/CMI assessment (pre-sentencing). If the case meets certain thresholds and the candidate is selected to participate in the program, the defendant moves through the court process and receives a probation sentence (designated as an SB 416 case).

All program participants receive an appropriate level of case management that helps ensure coordinated delivery of client services. They are supervised using the Effective Practices in Community Supervision (EPICS) model. Participants receive evidence-based cognitive, motivation, and substance-use treatment and pro-social mentoring services through Bridgeway Recovery Services. The primary goals are enhancing community safety, reducing criminal activity, and assisting people who have alcohol and other drug issues to become and remain a drug-free.

BASED ON RESEARCH

FUNDING

The program is partially funded by dedicated state Justice Reinvestment grant funding of $1,272,140. The Justice Reinvestment dollars cover two parole/probation Officers, one certified alcohol and drug counselor, one professional mentor, one deputy district attorney and other materials and services related to the program.

Outcome Icon Outcome

PROGRAM IMPACT

Proposed outcome measures:

Since project inception (July 2012) and as of February 2016, 207 defendants who were otherwise presumptively prison-bound have been diverted to community supervision. Of those 207 individuals, 77 violated their conditions of probation to the extent that their original prison sentence was thereafter imposed; 63 percent of current and former participants remain on community supervision.

CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS

The program team is driven by these core principles:

  • “Whatever it takes” individualized approach to promote accountability and rehabilitation
  • Use of evidence-based decision making and programming
  • Clear expectations and trust among stakeholders
  • Frequent communication and collaboration

LESSONS LEARNED

Remember that collaboration is time-intensive, sometimes with competing priorities and philosophical beliefs and even passionate disagreements. Never give up on a good program and always give your collaborative partnerships the benefit of their positive intent.