The first presentation to Oregon’s Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment Steering Committee provides an overview of public safety and health system challenges in the state, jail data analysis, housing challenges, and the role of the state hospital in continuum of care options.
Without access to effective community-based health care for substance addictions and mental illnesses, too many Oregonians wind up in crisis and then in emergency rooms or jail, leading to high costs and poor health and public safety outcomes. Oregon’s state and county leaders are now working together to expand community-based resources that the health and justice systems can use to improve health outcomes and reduce recidivism for people who have these behavioral health conditions and are often in contact with the criminal justice system.
During the summer of 2018, state and county leadership requested and received support for a behavioral health Justice Reinvestment (BHJR) approach from the public-private partners in the federal Justice Reinvestment Initiative, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The BHJR approach will focus on developing a statewide policy framework to help support tribal government, county, and local systems in improving recidivism and health outcomes for the small but important group of people who repeatedly cycle through both the public safety and health systems.
To facilitate the BHJR effort, state leaders have established the bipartisan, interbranch Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment Steering Committee. The 28-member committee includes designees from all three branches of government as well as state, tribal nation, and county criminal justice and health stakeholders. The CSG Justice Center will provide analytical support and health and justice system expertise to the state. Using the findings from the quantitative and qualitative analyses of the project, the steering committee will develop a statewide policy framework and related policy options to recommend to the 2019 legislature for consideration.
This publication outlines the scope of a Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment approach in Oregon to develop a statewide policy framework to help support tribal government, county, and local systems in improving recidivism and health outcomes for the small but important group of people who repeatedly cycle through the public safety and health systems.