The ARC:Transition provides pre-release and post-release planning to some offenders who are identified within State Correctional Institutions as having a special need including:
- MRDD, low functioning adult (70-85 IQ)
- Medically disabled (limited mobility)
- High Profile Sex Offender
- Mental Health Disorder (Diagnosed with mental illness and receiving medication)
- Repeat/serious Offender (incarcerated more than 10 years).
The planning for this group of offenders could begin 120 or more days prior to release. Planning can include arranging an array of community services including housing (to be in place at the time of release), mental health services, A&D assessment, etc. The transition plan must be appropriate to risk and needs, ranging from most restrictive to least restrictive release requirements.
ARC also provides transitional services to newly released offenders in the form of Subsidy Housing, transportation assistance, clothing referrals, food referrals, assistance with Oregon Health Plan application, etc. In general ARC attempts to link offenders due to be released or just released to meet their immediate needs and connect them with services to assist in meeting long-term needs.
ARC provides support and resources for this population, but primarily focuses on special needs offenders, i.e., mentally ill, developmentally or physically disabled, the elderly, and high-risk, predatory sex offenders. In addition, this unit oversees all of the Department's housing resources and manages the placement of offenders in housing throughout the community.
The drug-use forecasting data from the Multnomah County jail shows that 54% to 76% of men and 51% to 88% of women test positive for at least one illegal drug when booked. Inmates with addiction issues are the most likely to have frequent incarcerations. The majority of offenders also have mental health issues and concerns. Currently, 75% of the prison population have been convicted of committing a crime against a person. Best practices, combined with data from years of research, clearly dictate the need to provide case management, safe and secure housing, assistance with employment, aftercare and ancillary services for those offenders transitioning into our communities. A recent statewide study indicates that criminal activity decreased by approximately 40% when stable housing and supportive services were available. The benefits of these services to the offender and the community are clear.
In line with the County's long-term benchmark of reduced crime, the goal of ARC is to ensure community safety by providing support and resources to assist offenders - specifically, special needs offenders - in their successful integration into community from residential treatment, jail, or prison. TSU actively works to build partnerships with community-based services and organizations, as well as other Multnomah County Departments to provide the continuum of care that is needed for recently released offenders, including transitional and permanent housing.