Chaired by DCJ Director Scott Taylor and Sheriff Mike Reese
In October 2008, an informal work group presented a report to the Board of County Commissioners entitled “Transition from Jail to Community: Improving Reentry Outcomes in Multnomah County.” The report proposed that the Board establish a Reentry Council to be operated under the auspices of LPSCC. The Board responded by adopting a resolution in December 2008 formally establishing a County Reentry Council.
In adopting this resolution, the Board of Commissioners recognized that the nationwide focus in recent years on programmatic support for prison inmates returning to their communities has failed to address the needs of returning jail inmates. However, with Congress’s passage of the Second Chance Act in 2007, local governments became eligible for federal financial assistance to reduce recidivism using methods consistent with Bureau of Justice Statistics’ research on offender reentry. A condition of receiving this federal financial assistance under the Second Chance Act is the formation of a local “Reentry Task Force” comprised of “relevant….local leaders; and…representatives of relevant agencies; service providers; non-profit organizations; and stakeholders” in order to “examine ways to pool resources and funding streams to promote lower recidivism rates for returning offenders and minimize the harmful effects of offenders’ time in… jail… on families and communities.”
With the critical need for more jail reentry planning and services in Multnomah County, as well as this new opportunity for federal support, the Board’s December 2008 resolution directed the Reentry Council to “(a) meet the conditions of receiving financial assistance under the Federal Second Chance Act; (b) collaborate with the Multnomah County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council; (c) collaborate and bridge the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office's in-jail reentry programs with the out-of-jail reentry programs by the Department of Community Justice and services by community partners; (d) identify gaps in programs and services and recommend changes to address those gaps; (e) make quarterly reports to the Board of Commissioners; and (f) be structured in two tiers, with a Policy Team and an Operations Team.”
Recent Projects and Accomplishments