PROBLEMATIC BEHAVIOR OR ACTIVITY
This program was developed as part of Justice Reinvestment, a statewide initiative to reduce prison use after a nearly 50 percent increase in Oregon’s incarceration rate from 2000 to 2010. As part of this effort, Sherman County identified a resource gap for those who are involved or at risk of being involved in the criminal justice system and who struggle to access treatment or other services. The county found that individuals often lacked the assistance needed to obtain community referrals, access life-skills classes and meet basic needs such as getting a driver’s license, seeking health insurance, scheduling appointments, and securing housing and food assistance.
IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY
Without assistance in accessing necessary services, this population is more likely to be unsuccessful on probation or enter the criminal justice system if they have not already committed a crime. This results in increased victimization within the community.
Sherman County created the position of community outreach coordinator to provide services to offenders and other persons who are assessed as being at high risk of committing crimes. The outreach coordinator works with this population to identify people’s needs and develop a plan to address them with clear goals and deadlines. The coordinator also assists them in obtaining health insurance, scheduling mental health and/or addiction treatment appointments, getting a driver’s license, finding employment, pursuing higher education, securing housing and food assistance, and accessing other services. The coordinator then does periodic follow-ups to make sure that appointments are attended and the individual is progressing on his or her plan. The coordinator will also arrange trainings in the community on topics such as improving job and parenting skills.
BASED ON RESEARCH
The Incredible Years Program
The outreach coordinator will also partner with The Next Door, a nonprofit organization that offers parenting support and education. Its parenting program, The Incredible Years, is evidence-based and supported by more than 30 years of research.
- Recognized as an “exemplary” and “Blueprints” program by the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention.
- Rated as effective by CrimeSolutions.gov
This program is funded by a $62,714.14 grant through the state’s 2015-17 Justice Reinvestment Grant Program. This grant supports one community outreach coordinator, parenting classes, and life-skills trainings.
Proposed outcomes include:
- Decrease in recidivism for individuals receiving services
- Increase in percentage of population attending at least one training/class
- Completion of program by half of offenders engaged in services services