Oregon Initiatives

In partnership with Oregon state leaders, the CSG Justice Center is working on several key criminal justice initiatives to increase public safety, including Stepping Up and Justice Reinvestment.

Justice Reinvestment in Oregon

In summer 2018, the CSG Justice Center embarked on a Justice Reinvestment approach in Oregon to help state leaders identify and address the most pressing criminal justice and behavioral health system challenges.

Overview

Oregon is facing significant challenges to its behavioral health system that impact the state’s criminal justice system. The state has one of the highest rates in the nation of people with mental illnesses and substance addictions, and the death rates from drug overdoses and suicides are growing. The Oregon State Hospital is currently unable to keep up with referrals. At the same time, a few thousand people with mental illnesses and substance addictions are frequently cycling through Oregon county jails, courts, and emergency departments, resulting in millions of dollars in local and state expenditures, often with little benefit for either the people suffering from these conditions or their communities.

In the summer of 2018, Oregon state and county leaders requested and received support from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance and The Pew Charitable Trusts to employ a data-driven behavioral health Justice Reinvestment (BHJR) approach to address the challenges related to people who are high utilizers of public safety and behavioral health resources. The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center provided intensive technical assistance under the direction of Oregon’s BHJR Steering Committee.

Through this process, the BHJR Steering Committee recommended that a grant program be designed to support counties and tribal nations in developing stronger community-based continuums of care to improve health and criminal justice outcomes and to reduce financial and public safety impacts for people cycling in and out of Oregon’s jails and hospitals. This grant program—Improving People’s Access to Community-Based Treatment, Supports, and Services (IMPACTS)—is reflected in SB 973, which was signed into law in July 2019. By more effectively serving people who are high utilizers, resources can be reallocated for law enforcement officials to focus on violent crime reduction strategies and for jail administrators to prioritize capacity for people who pose the greatest risk to the public, all while reducing the use of expensive health care resources.

  • Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment in Oregon: Overview 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.

Presentations
  • Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment in Oregon: Second Presentation The second presentation to Oregon’s Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment Steering Committee prompted discussion that enabled the committee to reach agreement on a project framework that will become the basis for subsequent resource and policy discussions.
  • Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment in Oregon: Third Presentation The third presentation to Oregon’s Behavioral Health Justice Reinvestment Steering Committee helped guide discussion about building upon the project framework to improve individual and system outcomes for people cycling through Oregon’s criminal justice and health systems.
Final Report
  • Justice Reinvestment in Oregon: Policy Framework (April 21, 2020): This report highlights an innovative new grant program in Oregon created to support counties and tribal nations in developing stronger community-based continuums of care to improve health and criminal justice outcomes for people cycling in and out of the state’s jails and hospitals. The grant resulted from Oregon’s Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a data-driven approach to reduce recidivism for people with complex behavioral health needs in the state.
Oregon News

You might also be interested in

JMHCP Grant Helps San Luis Obispo ‘Step Up’ to Improve Lives of People With Mental Illnesses in Jail

San Luis Obispo, California was awarded a Justice and Mental Health Collaboration (JMHCP) grant from the U.S.

Read More

Congress Expresses Bipartisan Support for Key Justice Programs

Bipartisan support for three key criminal justice programs shows Congressional commitment to increasing public safety and reducing recidivism.

Read More