Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $450,000)
The Prisoner Reentry Initiative (PRI) is designed to provide funding to state units of government to develop and implement institutional and community corrections-based offender reentry programs. The PRI strengthens urban communities characterized by large numbers of returning, nonviolent prisoners. PRI is designed to reduce recidivism by helping returning inmates find work and assess other critical services in their communities. The PRI supports strategies to deliver pre-release assessments and services, and to develop transition plans in collaboration with other justice and community-based agencies and providers for supervised and non-supervised, nonviolent offenders.
The primary goal of Oregon's PRI is to increase public safety by reducing recidivism among the population of non-violent offenders who are being released to Multnomah County. Funding through the DOJ PRI will support and strengthen the critical thread of collaboration between the Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) and the community needed for successful reentry programs and the continuum of programming that is lacking in Oregon today. The PRI initiative will allow the DOC to create a reentry program that begins to assess and address an inmate's reentry needs six months prior to release. A reentry curriculum will be developed and delivered to inmates to address individualized needs. Networks of volunteers will be created to assist with transportation, mentoring, and other support services. A multi-disciplinary team consisting of both in-prison staff and community partners will be used for reentry planning, community connections, and continuum of programming. Community resources upon release will include supervision, employment, housing, mentoring, and wrap around services.
At intake, a criminal risk factor assessment will be administered to the target population. This assessment process allows DOC to target individual risk factors and provide programs and services that mitigate those risks. For inmates near the end of their incarceration, the DOC will transfer them to a facility that best addresses their needs. In addition to any needed treatment, these institutions will focus on community functioning and translating skills learned while incarcerated into skills for community living. Volunteers of America will provide pre-release coordinators who will jointly work with DOC to develop an interactive cognitive transition program. This program will begin while the offender is incarcerated and continue in the community after release. Volunteers of America, Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, and SE Works will work together in supporting the inmate once released to the community. Wrap-around service delivery is facilitated through regular team meetings.