Multnomah County is committed to working with the community to create a justice system that lives up to the ideals of fairness, equity and accessibility to and for all. We acknowledge that the justice system’s roots in racial oppression continue to inflict disproportionate harm on Black, Indigenous and other people of color today, and that only intentional budgetary, policy and programmatic decisions can begin to build up the system that we need. 

FY 2021 Reductions

In response to the murder of George Floyd, and the nationwide protests calling for immediate change to the criminal legal system, Multnomah County has taken steps to move faster and deeper in our efforts towards system transformation. As one of the first steps toward that commitment, the Board of County Commissioners divested more than $2 million from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) and District Attorney’s Office in the FY 2021 budget. Those reductions included:

  • The closure of a dorm at Inverness Jail. This marks the third dorm closed in the past four years as part of Multnomah County’s effort to reduce reliance on jail. 
  • A proposed reduction of funding for staff in the booking facility due to the dramatic decrease in the number of people booked into jail as a result of COVID-19.
  • Elimination of funding in the District Attorney’s Office for prosecutors in charge of overseeing low-level misdemeanors.

FY 2021 Investments

While Multnomah County divests in criminal legal system capacity and operations as a pathway to achieve transformative change, we know that we must equally focus on upstream investments that uplift our BIPOC communities as well as long term efforts that look to transform the criminal legal system. That means redirecting money that was saved through disinvestments into programs aimed at uplifting Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, with a focus on three key components:

  • Successfully diverting and deflecting people away from entering the criminal legal system.
  • Helping those who are reentering from places of incarceration.
  • Repairing past harms that come with interacting in the criminal legal system.

>>See details about FY 2021 investments here.

FY 2021 Budget Notes

The Board of County Commissioners also requested a series of “budget notes” at the conclusion of the FY 2021 budget adoption process. The notes are intended to gather information from the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Community Justice in order for the Commission to gain a greater understanding on a series of policy topics as they consider future legislative or budget action. 

>>See details about FY 2021 budget notes here.

FY 2022 Investments

In addition to the FY21 investment and reduction decisions, Multnomah County is also responding to the surge in gun violence that began in 2020 shortly after the pandemic started. Following meetings with community-based organizations, people impacted by gun violence, representatives from faith communities and individuals with lived experience in the criminal legal system, the County committed to investing federal American Rescue Plan Act funding into both upstream and downstream strategies.

This includes taking a public health approach to violence reduction efforts, which focuses on identifying root causes, leveraging community strengths, leaning on partnerships with the community and recognizing the role of systemic racism in who community violence impacts most. That approach has resulted in new investments into existing programs with track records of effectiveness and success, as well as expansions to behavioral health and community partnerships. 

>>See details about FY 2022 investments here.


FY 2021 Investments

*Last updated March 2022

Status Key:
In Research: Assessing feasibility and best practices

In Discussion: Engaging stakeholders

In Progress: Implementation is underway

Complete or launched: Commitment fulfilled

Diversion and Deflection (FY 2021)

    Commitment Status

    Stabilization, Treatment, and Preparation Program expansion 

    Multnomah County currently runs two Stabilization, Treatment and Preparation (STP) homes that offer transitional housing and provide psychiatric stabilization services, legal skills training and a range of additional supports to help people experiencing homelessness who are also involved in the justice system prepare to rejoin the community. We are expanding the service by partnering with Central City Concern to create a new culturally specific, Afrocentric 12-bed house, called Karibu, scheduled to open in spring 2022. 

    In Progress

    Supporting Reentry (FY 2021)

    Commitment Status

    Expanding employment support services 

    Individuals coming out of prison and jail face significant barriers when returning to the community, especially finding stable employment. Additional funding will allow the Department of Community Justice to include services for pretrial clients, as well as those preparing to leave MCSO following a term of incarceration. Services will include outreach, engagement, peer support and employment advocacy and support. The program is currently up and running.  

    Expansion launched, services ongoing

    Mobile Behavioral Health pilot 

    Black individuals continue to face stigma and discrimination in the criminal legal system. These negative experiences, combined with a lack of access to culturally affirming and informed care, result in multiple health disparities for the population — creating an urgent need for inclusive, high-quality behavioral health services so that they can achieve the highest possible level of health. 

    This funding will establish a culturally specific Mobile Behavioral Health team for Black individuals re-entering the community from incarceration. The team will consist of a master’s-level mental health provider, a certified addictions counselor and a peer support specialist. The scope of services will include outreach and engagement, home visits, mental health or substance use screening/assessments, individual therapy/counseling, care coordination, and peer support. 

    In Progress

    Repairing Harm (FY 2021)

    Commitment Status

    Expansion of legal support services

    Multnomah County offers legal support for justice-involved individuals through Legal Services Day and the Department of County Human Services’ Legal Clinic. Both of these programs assist clients by working to waive fines and fees, start the expunction process, and eliminate other barriers to employment and housing. 


    In FY21, the County expanded funding for the Legal Clinic. Clients from the Department of Community Justice’s Family Services Unit are now being referred to the program, and additional attorneys are assisting clients. 


    Additional investments in the FY22 budget were approved by the Board in June 2021, including additional funding for the Department of County Human Services’ Legal Services Day. The District Attorney’s Office has also established a new Justice Integrity Unit, tasked with examining past convictions and, when necessary and appropriate, look to overturn convictions when there is evidence of actual innocence, prosecutor or law enforcement misconduct, or other considerations that undermine the integrity of the conviction. The unit will also work with community members to expunge past convictions and assist with forgiving fines and fees. 

    Expansion launched, services ongoing

    Community-based partnerships with families of youth on probation

    This funding invests in the expansion of several services meant to stop family violence and abuse, and to develop respectful, healthy relationships so that all family members can feel safe at home. This provides an opportunity to address the underlying causes of family violence without further involvement in the juvenile justice system.

    With these resources, the Community Healing Initiative has expanded its suite of services by implementing the Families United for Safety & Empowerment, or FUSE, Program, which focuses on helping families during violent or abusive engagements; the curriculum includes safety planning combined with direct intervention work.

    The County has also supported the expansion of CHI’s parent mentor programs, which trains parents to offer hope, guidance, and advocacy to other parents and caregivers of justice-involved youth. Parent Mentors bring expertise based on their own experience parenting youth involved in the juvenile justice system, as well as specialized training, to support other parents and caregivers. Working within a peer support framework that recognizes the power of mutuality and experiential understanding, Parent Mentors deliver education, information, and peer support. The Parent Mentor program hosted a virtual summit in May 2021 to share information about the legal system, meeting basic needs and community resources.

    The funding has also spurred the expansion of CHI’s program model to serve the African immigrant community. Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization (IRCO), a trusted service provider among the African immigrant community, will administer the program.

    These new investments also allowed for an increase in temporary safe housing for youth who, due to an altercation, cannot be safe at home until further intervention occurs.

    Learn more about the work of the County’s Community Healing Initiatives partners during this challenging time here and here.

    Expansions launched, services ongoing

    FY 2021 Budget Notes

    *Last updated October 2021

    Commitment Status Status Note

    Sheriff training and use of force

    The Board of Commissioners requested a board briefing from MCSO on their officer training program. The briefing will cover the training programs, policies and practices employed by MCSO, as well as best practices and analysis around the need for de-escalation training, the use of force, the demilitarization of public safety officers and community policing efforts. 

    Complete

    The Board of Commissioners received a briefing on MCSO’s Officer Training Program from Sheriff Michael Reese and Chief of Staff Katie Burgard on Oct. 27, 2020. (Watch the briefing here.)  

    A separate briefing on MCSO’s use of force policy was given by Sheriff Reese, Cpt. Harry Smith and Paul Meyer on Nov. 10, 2020. (Watch the briefing here; read a summary of the briefing here.)

    The Board will continue to discuss and explore these issues.

    Electronic monitoring

    The Board of County Commissioners requested a board briefing from the Department of Community Justice and its community and public safety partners regarding adult electronic monitoring. This briefing will include a description of how electronic monitoring is utilized, a demographic breakdown of individuals in the program, recidivism rates and other measurements of effectiveness, and alternatives to electronic monitoring.

    Complete

    The Board of Commissioners received a briefing about adult electronic monitoring from Department of Community Justice Director Erika Preuitt and DCJ Adult Services Division Director Jay Scroggin on Oct. 20, 2020. (Watch the briefing here; read a summary of the briefing here.) 

    In 2021, DCJ will: 1) examine electronic monitoring and its effectiveness in specific units; 2) revisit and refine who is placed on electronic monitoring, and; 3) as part of the County’s John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Safety and Justice Challenge, determine the role of electronic monitoring in the pretrial system. These actions will ensure that electronic monitoring is utilized in the most effective and equitable manner possible, while also moving DCJ toward alternative models that affect positive changes in behavior even more effectively. 

    Jail labor 

    The Board of County Commissioners requested a board briefing from the Sheriff’s Office and its community and public safety partners to provide an overview on jail labor expenses. The briefing will include how much inmates are paid for their labor (both on an hourly basis and in total), whether by the Sheriff’s Office or by a contractor; what kind of labor is performed; how much revenue or cost saving is derived by the Sheriff’s Office; and any other information relevant to policy and budget discussion of either eliminating or paying minimum wage for jail labor. 

    Complete

    The Board of Commissioners received a briefing about corrections work programs from Sheriff Reese, Chief Deputy Steve Alexander and Program Manager Stephanie LaCarrubba on Nov. 24, 2020. (Watch the briefing here; read a summary of the briefing here.) 

    The Board will continue to explore options for potential policy changes, including establishing a workgroup to see what internal changes could be made and the impact on the County, adults in custody, and victims.


    FY 2022 Investments

    *Last updated January 2022

    Status Key:
    In Research: Assessing feasibility and best practices

    In Discussion: Engaging stakeholders

    In Progress: Implementation is underway

    Complete or launched: Commitment fulfilled

    Expanding Behavioral Health Services (FY 2022)

      Commitment Status

      Gun Violence Behavioral Health Response Team 

      This seven-member team will be composed of clinicians, peers and credible messengers, and will provide services for gang-impacted youth and families. The team’s goal is to address the increased community violence we’ve seen as a result of the pandemic. The team will work closely with the Department of Community Justice’s Juvenile Services Division and use therapeutic interventions to address underlying needs. The team is being hired and will deploy in 2022. 
       

      In Progress

      FaithBridge Trauma Healing and Recovery Program

      Eighty-four percent of Black women say religion is very important to them; 59% say they attend religious services at least once a week. No group of men or women from any other racial or ethnic background exhibits comparably high levels of religious observance. Black women place a high value on a deeper connection to their faith as a way to manage trauma and stress. Their connection to faith increases the likelihood of positive mental and physical health outcomes.

      This funding will supplement culturally specific opportunities for women emerging from trauma and/or life transition to reconnect in a deep and life-transforming way to faith. These women could be emerging from abuse, abandonment, incarceration and addiction. Through aspirational weekly workshops, one-on-support and an annual retreat, FaithBridge will provide space for women to heal and recover using values from various faith practices as an anchor. 

      Program launched, services ongoing

      Community-based Mental Health Services for Children and Families

      ​​Between January and November 2021, there were more than 1,100 shootings in the City of Portland alone — more than triple the number of shootings in the comparable timeframe in 2019. This surge in gun violence, shootings and homicides disproportionately harms and traumatizes Black community members. Additional funding supported the hiring of a permanent African American Mental Health Consultant position in the Health Department’s Direct Clinical Services unit. This position serves children and families who are impacted by community and gang violence with a range of culturally relevant and evidence-based mental health services, consultation, training, outreach and engagement.

      Staffing expansion complete, services ongoing

      Building on Community Partnerships (FY 2022)

      Commitment Status

      Community Partnerships & Capacity Building in Public Health 

      This new funding will scale up a wraparound model using community health workers in community based organizations. The County will contract with the Non-Profit Association of Oregon to provide technical assistance to smaller BIPOC organizations, and contract for culturally responsive maternal child health services in the African and Latinx communities. Finally, funding will go to expand Pacific Islander and Latinx coalitions, as well as the Future Generations Collaborative.

      In Progress

      Expanding Successful Programs (FY 2022)

      Commitment Status

      Culturally Specific Justice-Involved Addictions Benefit Coordinator (ABC)

      The ABC program serves over 3,000 individuals per year and consists of a continuum of adult substance use disorder (SUD) treatment and recovery support services for adult Multnomah County residents. This position will work with Black and African-American individuals who are on supervision with the Department of Community Justice. Their goal will be to connect them to services, including: residential treatment, intensive outpatient treatment with supported housing, outpatient treatment, outreach/engagement, recovery mentoring and recovery support (including connections to housing support, pro-social/drug-free activities, basic needs support and more).

      Staffing expansion complete

      New Community Health Specialists 

      Prior to adoption of the FY22 budget in June 2021, the Department of Community Justice identified that 23 of the previous 55 homicides had some type of nexus to DCJ adult and juvenile caseloads. In order to respond, the Department added three new Community Health Specialists who will work in collaboration with the Health Department and the Department of County Human Services to provide families with safety plans and trauma support for those who have felt the direct impacts of gun violence. The program is intended to serve 50-60 clients. 

      Staffing expansion complete

      Elevate Program Expansion 

      The County will expand our Elevate program to 18-25-year-old men in the Latinx and African immigrant communities for those impacted by gang involvement and gun violence. This expansion will provide community support and resources to an additional 50 justice-involved individuals, including peer support, skill building, cognitive behavioral therapy and culturally responsive services. The Elevate expansion will also provide opportunities to partner with national experts to build out culturally responsive programming for this population of justice-involved individuals.

      In Progress

      Community Healing Initiative Expansion 

      This new funding will be used to expand the Community Healing Initiative (CHI) model to additional Black, Indigenous and other communities of color as part of a broad strategy to support real-time responses to community violence and other immediate needs. 

      Program expansion complete, services ongoing

      Habilitation Empowerment Accountability Therapy (HEAT) Expansion

      Additional capacity will be provided for DCJ’s Habilitation Empowerment Accountability Therapy (HEAT) program, which is delivered to African-American justice-involved individuals. This curriculum is a culturally responsive cognitive behavioral intervention program designed to reflect and address the unique experiences and needs of participants. The ability to address anti-social thinking is an effective way to reduce recidivism especially as it relates to gun violence.

      In Progress

      Victim Services Expansion 

      The County is expecting a significant uptick in hearings, and reschedulings of hearings, as Court operations pick up. In order to stay in compliance with victims rights, including those impacted by gun violence, the department will add one additional staff member to respond to these impacts. Victims and survivors of crime are disproportionately people of color, and while they are the one person involved in our system who did not ask to be, they often have the least access to support and resources.

      Staffing expansion complete