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 people who need mental health services. The collective objective of this project is to enhance and preserve community safety, reduce criminal recidivism and to reduce clinical and therapeutic recidivism.

Through programs like the MHU Outreach Van and the Treatment Readiness Program, we work 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
  • 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:
    • Improve their overall functioning
    • Help them adhere to prescribed medications
    • Develop acceptable social activities
    • Obtain pro-social and healthy living arrangements
  • Get resources to the individual’s support network: family, advocates, mentors, etc.
  • Reduce 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.