Multnomah County strongly supports fully funding the Justice Reinvestment grant program, created by HB 3194. HB 3194 sentencing changes and Justice Reinvestment grants will save taxpayers an estimated $600 million in prison costs over the next decade. * But, in order to achieve these cost-effective outcomes, full funding of community supervision strategies that are proven to reduce crime and victimization, is crucial.
Multnomah County launched the Justice Reinvestment program in July 2014 and has already reduced the number of offenders sent to prison by 140 during the first seven months of operation. So far, the county has saved $4.9 million in state General Fund dollars and expects to save $8.6 million in the first year. ** This does not include millions more in anticipated savings in short-term transitional leave and reductions in lengths of stays in prison.
HB 3194, passed by the 2013 Legislature, modifies sentencing and reserves Oregon’s prison space for the most serious, violent criminals while dramatically cutting prison costs through investment in local public safety systems.
The state’s commitment to reinvest millions in these systems shows a dedication to prevention strategies that reduce crime and recidivism and improve public safety in innovative ways.
We must continue this investment to achieve the anticipated results. Even with such notable savings projections, Oregon’s prison population remains the fifth fastest growing in the nation and exceeds the national average, according to the latest report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. *** We cannot afford to build more prison beds.
It is simply not enough to change incarceration policies. Without meaningful and long-term Justice Reinvestment funding, we will fail to curtail prison growth and will be forced to build another new prison sooner rather than later - and at a much greater cost.
Please support full funding for Justice Reinvestment with $58.5 million for the 2015-17 biennium, so we can continue to make the community safer.
Multnomah County’s Justice Reinvestment Program (MCJRP) uses an innovative and cutting-edge process to manage people in the community who otherwise would be sent to prison.
Since the program began in July 2014, 83 defendants have been placed on intensive community supervision and connected to services. We anticipate this number will grow significantly in the 2015-2017 biennium, resulting in a greater need for continued service.
When a defendant begins the program he/she works with criminal justice partners, including the judge, district attorney, parole and probation officer and defense attorney on a rigorous assessment process considering victim impact and input. A robust evaluation, which informs the sentencing decision, is also performed.
Depending on the defendant’s needs, a parole/probation officer crafts a customized and detailed supervision and treatment plan based on the assessment outcome. Meanwhile, critical wrap-around services, proven to reduce recidivism, are being arranged.
A Judicial Settlement Conference is held, where a judge and criminal justice partners meet and agree on a plan. If the parties agree that MCJRP probation is the most effective approach, the intensive supervision plan may include: housing, residential/outpatient alcohol/drug treatment, mental health services, mentoring, parenting, employment and education services.
The defendant is monitored with frequent check-ins over the next 120 days. After 120 days, he/she is re-assessed for risks/needs and continues to be monitored by community corrections at the appropriate level of supervision.
These evidence-based strategies help Multnomah County make informed sentencing decisions and identify appropriate, responsive community supervision and services.
We are holding offenders accountable through community supervision by funding programs aimed at the root causes of crime, rather than funding expensive prisons.
** Multnomah County data shows 140 (20 fewer prisoners per month X 7 months) X $96.48 (Department of Corrections Local Control Rate 2015-2017) X 365 = $4,930,128