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Home For Good In Oregon (HGO)

Religious Services Webpage

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HGO Administration


"Transforming lives through faith to increase public safety by reducing recidivism" 

Dennis Holmes, MA       
3405 Deer Park Drive SE
Salem, OR 97310
503-378-2648 fax

Debra Foutch      
Executive Support
3405 Deer Park Drive SE
Salem, OR 97310
503-378-2648 fax


 "Reconciliation requires changes of heart and spirit, as well as social and economic change. It requires symbolic as well as practical action." 
                                             ~Malcolm Fraser
Home for Good in Oregon (HGO) is an award-winning program of the Department of Corrections based on a vast statewide network of faith and community-based volunteers and organizations working together.  Starting with applications received from offenders wanting faith and community support following release, HGO provides information, support and supervision through its 45 trained volunteer  and hundreds of trained community volunteers and re-entry partner organizations so that faith and community-based support and services can be effective used to insure successful transition of offenders from prison to the community.  Make the decision, today, to be come a part of the HGO and do your part in creating a healthier and safer community.
HGO Historical Overview
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HGO Vision and Mission

HGO Vision Statement
That men and women exiting prison can sustain expectations of welcome and support from state, faith and community partners as they transition back to their families and communities
HGO Mission Statement
Utilize strategic partnerships between state, faith and community based organization to build a seamless system of support, guidance, training and resources that promotes the successful restoration of people from prison back to their families and communities.
The purpose of the Home for Good in Oregon: A Corrections, Community and Faith-Based Re-entry Partnership (HGO) is to work with communities so that men and women exiting prison will  be welcomed and supported by government, faith and community partners as they transition back to their families and neighborhoods.
The HGO partnership is operated by the Oregon Department of Corrections through its Religious Services Unit.  The focus of the HGO Partnership is to develop and provide safe, healthy and supportive connections to the community so releasing offenders can develop pro-social thinking along with a community of pro-social associates.  
How HGO is organized. 
Institution Level:  Re-entry Liaisons assist the institution chaplains to provide HGO services to inmates prior to release at each of the releasing institutions.  The Re-entry Liaison receives the HGO application from interested inmates, meets with those inmates where appropriate, assists these inmates to make connections to the community and provides community and faith-based resources where appropriate and needed.  
HGO applications are then routed, to the Regional Community Chaplain (multi-county) who, in turn, provides the information to the local (county) Community Chaplain or Community Coordinator.  A letter from the Regional Community Chaplains or Coordinator is sent to the inmate along with a list of known effective community and faith-based resources.  If a particular applicant is determined to be appropriate for more in-depth community support or mentoring those connections are made between the Community Chaplains and Re-entry Liaisons and the inmate prior to release.
Community Level:  At local (county or multi-county) levels Community Chaplains or Coordinators bring together representatives of community corrections, community and faith-based organizations and service providers to form local HGO Councils.  These Councils create a cooperative basis from which Community Corrections, ODOC and local communities can prepare for and address issues related to successful reintegration of returning offenders. 
Statewide CoordinationHGO organizes monthly meetings divided by Region that assigns offenders to mentors, addresses the development of local resources for releasing offenders, addresses policy issues affecting offender transition and create a communication network effectively sharing transitional information statewide.  
Services Provided
Services to the Community
Both through the network of Community Chaplains and Coordinators and the members of the HGO local and Statewide Steering Committee the HGO Partnership contributes these services to Oregon’s communities:
  • Education and training of community members about criminality and how to effectively work and relate to releasing offenders to increase safety
  • Increasing communications between community corrections and members of the community for better serving and assisting released offenders
  • Direct mentoring or support of inmates where appropriate
  • Support for the family and friends of offenders
  • Recruitment and training of individuals to provide Intensive community support and accountability where the level of risk indicates the need for high levels of community involvement
Services to the Inmate
Level I – Each inmate applying to the HGO program for assistance receives a written response from HGO staff at the DOC and from the regional or local chaplain which describes the HGO partnership network, provides steps the inmate can take to prepare for release to the community and provides a list of local resources known to the Community Chaplain in the county of release, including both community and faith-based organizations and service providers.  The intent of this level response is to give each releasing offender at least one known contact in the community to which he/she may turn in need and to encourage additional contacts with the community.
Level II – When appropriate, selected inmates will be provided at least one visit or telephone meeting with a Community Chaplain or a volunteer member of the community prior to release for the purpose of exploring and developing community contacts, support and services or guidance concerning the inmates reintegration in the community. 
Level III When appropriate, a select number of releasing offenders will be provided one-on-one mentoring in the community of release through the Community Chaplain and/or trained community or faith-based mentors.  If the risk level indicates that more intensive support and accountability is needed and appropriate the inmate may become part of a COSA (Circles of Support and Accountability) circle.  Each Circle is composed of individuals who have received intensive specialized training to prepare them to support high risk offenders while holding them accountable.
The HGO Partnership in Oregon was awarded the 2005 National Correctional Programs Excellence Award by the American Correctional Chaplains Association and has received special recognition by the Correctional Services of Canada, Chaplaincy Services. 

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HGO Program Description and Structure

By Dr. Tim Cayton, Former Assistant Administrator  
Gary was getting out after 28 years- over half his life- behind bars. He had no relatives, no friends, no job and nowhere to live. From his prison counselor’s office he called the DOC Re-entry Chaplain. Three phone calls later Gary had housing, job training and a community of support ready to receive him upon release.
The Community and Faith-based Re-entry program called, "Home for Good in Oregon" (HGO), has setup a statewide program that is working with hundreds of volunteers and faith and community-based organizations to assist communities to more safely reintegrate offenders into their communities. The re-entry program helps community members to provide offenders with a pro-social support system that helps them to develop their spirituality and learn new pro-social attitudes and ways of behaving without crime. Developing such pro-social networks, associates and skills are key components of evidenced-based practices for reducing recidivism. 
We know from research that having non-criminal or pro-social friends and associates and non-criminal or pro-social attitudes, values and beliefs are two of the most important factors that help offenders to successfully reintegrate upon their release. Based on this research HGO provides releasing offenders with opportunities to develop a pro-social support system for their release as well as a strong set of pro-social attitudes, beliefs and values. Recently the American Correctional Chaplains Association gave its 2005 annual national award for religious program excellence to Oregon's HGO re-entry partnership.
HGO has created a model re-entry program that is structured on three organizational and programmatic building blocks that are described below. In each of these three blocks there are opportunities for volunteers to help reduce Oregon's rate of recidivism and make Oregon's communities both safer and more compassionate.
1.   Transition Focused Prison Chapel Programs
The first foundation block in HGO is transition-focused chapel programs in the ODOC institutions. Re-entry Coordinators work with institutional chaplains to assist offenders prepare for the challenges of returning to their family and community. Activities in the prison include spiritual-based transition classes, pre-release counseling and help to link inmates to community and faith-based supports and services that will compliment the inmate's approved release plan. This one-on-one work with inmates helps them prepare for and work on the issues they will face upon release. We are also working with the faith-based volunteers who are conducting services in the prisons that are releasing inmates to help them focus some of their services around transition issues.
2.   Volunteer Community Chaplains
The second foundation block is a statewide network of trained and experienced volunteer Community Chaplains committed to helping releasing offenders reconnect in healthy and supportive ways with families, community organizations and faith communities. This ever-growing network of 30-35 Community Chaplains works closely with and supports Community Correction’s Probation and Parole Officers. Community Chaplains provide offenders with needed social support, guidance and direction and also hold them accountable for unhealthy, unsafe or illegal behaviors. The Community Chaplains are divided into six statewide regions under the direction of Regional Community Chaplains. To date, we have been able to recruit a Community Chaplain for most of the 36 counties.
Corrections Today -October 2004
Home for Good in Oregon Feature Article

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HGO Counties and Regions

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Mentor Contact Report

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