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The Oregon Accountability Model
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The Oregon Accountability Model
The Oregon Accountability Model encompasses the simultaneous, coordinated and efficient implementation of many Department of Corrections initiatives and projects that provide a foundation for inmates to lead successful lives upon release.
 
The Oregon Accountability Model has six components. Each of these components stands on its own as a project or a part of the Corrections organization and culture. However, woven together these six separate components form a stronger fiber that strengthens the department’s ability to hold inmates/offenders accountable for their actions and DOC staff accountable for achieving the mission and vision of the department.
 
 

Six Components of the Oregon Accountability Model

Criminal Risk Factor Assessment and Case Planning
 

Staff-Inmate Interactions 

Work and Programs 

Children and Families 

Reentry 

Community Supervision and Programs 

 

Criminal Risk Factor Assessment and Case Planning:

With the opening of the new intake center at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, the department implemented an enhanced assessment process. The outcome is a corrections plan for every inmate that is tracked throughout an inmate’s incarceration and supervision in the community.
The corrections plan is based on mitigating seven criminal risk factors that research indicates predict future criminal behavior. The seven criminal risk factors are:
  • Associates
  • Substance Abuse
  • Community Functioning
  • Education and Employment
  • Emotional and Mental Health
  • Marital and Family Life
  • Attitudes
The department provides targeted programs and services to mitigate these risk factors during incarceration and community supervision. When offenders transition successfully back into their communities there is less likelihood that they will commit new crimes.

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Staff-Inmate Interactions:
Correctional security practices such as classification, gang management, and housing assignments hold inmates accountable for their actions every day. They ensure that the prisons are safe, civil and productive. A key part of this component recognizes that staff interactions with inmates help shape positive behavior. The department encourages staff to influence inmates’ behavior, acknowledge positive change and provide incentives to inmates to change their behavior.

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Work and Programs:
To prepare an inmate for living in the community upon release, the Department of Corrections uses the assessments performed at intake to create a corrections plan for each inmate. The plan specifies the correctional programs the inmate should complete before release to best mitigate his identified risks.
 
Meaningful work is known to contribute to the success of offenders upon release. Many correctional programs contribute to inmates’ preparedness for work (education, treatment) and others teach inmates the skills they need to gain employment and succeed in the workplace. Most Oregon state inmates have a job while incarcerated to give them on-the-job experience.

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Children and Families:
The department encourages productive relationships between families and inmates to strengthen ties and increase the likelihood of success upon release. The period of a parent’s incarceration provides an excellent opportunity for positive intervention with families at risk.
 
The department has a strong interest in the children of incarcerated parents because they are five to six times more likely to be incarcerated than are their peers. The department leads a statewide partnership called The Children of Incarcerated Parents Project that has the best interests of children in mind. Project initiatives to date provide inmates with tools for successful parenting and allows opportunities for inmates to practice those pro-social behaviors. Three strategies initially identified are: parent education classes for inmates, a therapeutic child-centered facility serving children of female inmates, and examination of current rules and practices including visiting, mail and phones.

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Reentry:
The department is involved in a statewide project that focuses on transition — a seamless movement of offenders from the community to incarceration to community supervision. The project would limit duplication of services and increase effective and efficient use of partnerships. Seven of the department’s prisons have been identified as reentry facilities. These prisons are strategically located to encourage reach-in by the community. Connections with the community before release are important factors in offenders’ successes on the outside, and may include work, treatment religion, and housing. Reentry prisons will be geared to preparing inmates for release during their last six months of incarceration.

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Community Supervision and Programs:
There are more than 30,000 offenders on probation or post-prison supervision in Oregon communities. The department continually works in partnership with each county to develop, deliver and administer best practices regarding supervision, sanctions and programs for offenders and their families in the communities. The goal is to reduce the odds that these offenders will commit new crimes.

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The ultimate goal of the Oregon Accountability Model is to improve public safety. The model ties together many concurrent and interrelated efforts of the department and its partners into a cohesive strategy to reduce recidivism and influence inmates into becoming productive citizens.