The Mental Health Unit (MHU) provides supervision services for parole, probation and post-prison individuals who have been diagnosed with a severe and persistent mental illness. The unit works in partnership with a variety of community and statewide agencies that have mutual responsibility and interests in mental illness. The MHU works with community treatment providers, the courts, Oregon Department of Corrections, police, Sheriff’s Office/Jails, LPSCC, public defender, NAMI, Aging Services, mentors and mental health advocates and most community groups that work with this population. The collective objective of this project is to, enhance/preserve community safety, reduce legal/criminal recidivism and to reduce clinical/therapeutic recidivism.

The MHU works to:

  • preserve public safety and divert probation and post prison involved individuals with severe mental illness/disabilities from incarceration and hospitalizations, into community based treatment/services and also to decrease/prevent further contacts with the criminal justice system.
  • Improve access to appropriate services for people with severe mental illness who are at high risk of criminal justice involvement
  • Works to problem solve and improve MHU transition planning from Oregon Department of Corrections and county jails, as it relates to the special needs and problems presented by persons with severe mental disabilities
  • Develop enhanced awareness of the consequences of behavior, the relapse process, and the importance of treatment
  • Provide multi-problem, difficult to serve people the “structure” needed to:
    • Gain relative improvement in overall functioning
    • Gain adherence to medications
    • Develop acceptable social activities
    • Obtain pro-social and healthy living arrangements
    • Educate and provide information about resource availability to the individual’s support network, family, advocates, mentors, etc.
  • Reducing incidents of the mentally ill being victimized
  • Reducing crime, recidivism, and incarceration

Effective community based treatment saves money by reducing the costs of healthcare and emergency room visits, criminal justice proceedings, imprisonment, food stamps, unemployment, workers compensation claims, child welfare and many other related services.