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Director's Bulletin - September 2007
From Director Bob Jester
OYA Director Robert Jester
The 2007 Legislature recognized the success that OYA and our juvenile justice partners have had in achieving our public safety outcomes and have given us additional resources to improve on our record.
 
I want to talk with you briefly about our budget opportunities and challenges in 2007‑09.  We have additional opportunities because the overall agency budget will increase by about $53 million over the 2005-07 level.  Those increases restore many cutbacks experienced from the 2003 recession and address several pressing issues:
  • In facilities, we will re-open 145 close custody beds, and increase staffing levels to enhance safety of staff and youth.  The additional beds start with opening a model gender-specific program for young women at the Oak Creek YCF in Albany early next year.  We also will re-open units at North Coast YCF and RiverBend/Hilgard in 2009.
  • In the community, we will be increasing community placements by 73 beds, starting in April 2008.  This new capacity will help us place more youth into services that meet their risks and needs.
  • With our partners, we will restore many cuts in funding to county juvenile departments that help prevent crime and reduce intakes to OYA.  We will also increase rates paid to contracted service providers to more closely reflect their costs, help them retain qualified staff, and continue to deliver evidence-based services.
  • In other services, we were able to obtain funding for much-needed capital improvements and repairs, as well as help with increased costs for fuel, utilities, and medical services.  There also will be some additions to our Business Services infrastructure to support this growth and additional activities.
 
Although these additional resources help address problems, they don’t resolve all of OYA’s budget issues.  We will need to carefully manage these resources and establish priorities to maximize the benefits.
 
We were able to obtain these resources largely because we demonstrated that our programs and services have been successful in reducing recidivism.  We will make every effort to deploy these additional resources to fill gaps in service delivery, meet unmet needs, and continue to improve meeting our performance goals in reducing recidivism, protecting the public, and providing reformation opportunities to youth.

Employee Suggestion Awards Program
ESAP logo
Did you know that your ideas to save OYA money can earn you cash???
 
Established in 1955, the Employee Suggestion Awards Program (ESAP) is a tool to encourage and reward state employees who share their creative ideas for improving effectiveness and efficiency within their agencies.
 
Employees are eligible for cash awards if their suggestion is adopted and results in a verifiable "Hard Cash" savings of at least $500 for the agency.
 
To date, OYA employees have not had any cash awards.  If you have ideas that might save OYA time and/or money, talk to your supervisor about it.  You might just find an award in your future. 
 
The ESAP report for the 2nd quarter of 2007, along with the annual report for fiscal year July 2006-June 2007, is available for viewing/printing at ESAP website.
 
For more information on how you can get involved in ESAP and the guidelines for suggestions, visit the ESAP website or contact Robyn.Cole@oya.state.or.us.  

From Program Office
National Recovery Month logo
Alcohol & Drug Addicition Recovery Month
The 18th annual National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month (Recovery Month) is a commemoration that will occur this September - in cities and towns, big and small, nationwide. We celebrate and recognize the valiant efforts of people who are in recovery from substance use disorders, as well as those of their biggest supporters.
 
This year's theme, "Join the Voices for Recovery: Saving Lives, Saving Dollars," asks you to take notice of the financial and human costs of substance use disorders, and to understand the benefits that investing in treatment can have on those who enter recovery, their families, and the larger community.
 
All of us can help ensure that treatment and recovery from substance use disorders is attainable.
 
For more information, visit the Recovery Month website.   

Oregon is moving in the right direction with Treatment Interventions
 
OYA focuses proven Alcohol & Drug (AOD) Treatment on a critical problem in Oregon.
  • Oregoncurrently ranks 7th in the nation for teenage illegal drug use in youth ages 12 to 18.
  • We rank 4th in the nation for alcohol and drug abuse and dependency diagnoses among young adults ages 18 to 25.
  • Currently in Oregon, teenage girls’ binge drinking and abuse of methamphetamine is at a higher rate than for boys. 
 
In 2006, the OYA GAP survey indicated that 82.5% of our female population in custody have an AOD diagnosis coupled with a co-occurring Axis I mental health disorder.  In addition, 68.2% of these youth are receiving psychotropic medication.  The good news is that 61% of young women ages 18 to 25 that have received AOD treatment in a correctional setting have not relapsed five years after receiving treatment (Hubbard, R.I., DATOS Study, 2003).
 
AOD treatment is cost effective.  Research has shown that for every dollar the state invests in AOD Treatment, $5.60 is saved on the societal cost of adjudication and incarceration.  With the new Oak Creek facility in Albany due to open in January 2008, OYA has committed to providing gender-specific treatment that is on the cutting edge of treatment effectiveness.
 
A 2006 study completed by Oregon’s Division of Addictions & Mental Health (formerly OMHAS) indicated that the majority (56%) of publicly-funded treatment programs are using evidence-based practices.  OYA’s AOD treatment staff have been trained in Motivational Enhancement Therapy, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Pathways to Self-Discovery and Seeking Safety.  Our challenge is now to sustain with fidelity these programs through the collection, analysis, and use of data.
 
For more information, contact Mary.McBride@oya.state.or.us.
 

OYA Staff Honorred by Interstate Compact Administrators
During the annual conference of the Association of Juvenile Compact Administrators (AJCA) in Kentucky this month, one of OYA’s best was honored.  Carol Gillespie, OYA’s Interstate Compact Coordinator, was recognized twice!!!
 
First, Carol was nominated for the prestigious 2006 William L. Frederick Award which recognizes long-term commitment and excellence in the field of interstate compact services.  Carol was also honored by being elected as an AJCA executive board member where she will represent Oregon by consulting and advising the larger body in the direction of its activities.
 
We are very proud to see Carol honored in this manner.  Any OYA field or county juvenile department staff will tell you that Carol is the greatest.  

Oak Creek Update
Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility
Reopening Progress
 
Work is underway in preparation for the reopening of Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility to serve young women.
 

A rich, qualified, and experienced group of OYA staff and partners has been assembled to guide the process, with a steering committee formed to oversee the progress.
 
A variety of work groups have been formed to address the different issues and challenges inherent in an important project such as this.
 
Read about the workgroups’ progress to date, descriptions of their purpose, and membership on the OYA website.
 
Questions?  Contact Shirlee.Pierce@oya.state.or.us

Camp Tillamook Nominated for Work on Watershed Project
Camp Tillamook Riparian Work
 
Camp Tillamook youth and staff have been nominated for their work as part of an effort to restore riverbank habitats in the Tillamook Resource Area.
 
Recognizing the need to encourage riparian restoration on not just Bureau of Land Management(BLM) lands, the Tillamook Resource Area and the Horning Seed Orchard entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with various watershed partners.  As one of those partners, Camp Tillamook is helping to implement riparian restoration in all of the watersheds in the resource area with BLM ownership, including streams feeding the lower Columbia River and several northwest Oregon coastal bays.  The MOU was signed in 2002, and the restoration efforts have been ongoing with our Camp Tillamook work crews since then.
 
The primary objective of the partnership is to promote healthy forest/riparian ecosystem conditions throughout the Tillamook Resource Area by collecting and growing native plant seeds and cuttings to develop into large planting stock. Our youth are able to learn horticulture skills among many other environment impacts through this process.
 
The Yamhill Watershed Council 2006 alone planted over 36,000 trees and shrubs (mostly grown at Horning Seed Orchard or Camp Tillamook).  About 55,000 plants were distributed for projects through Horning Seed Orchard, the Tillamook Native Plant Cooperative Nursery at the Oregon Youth Authority Camp, and watershed council sites.  Congratulations Camp Tillamook staff and youth for your contributions to our environment!
 
Other partners contributing to the restoration are:
  • Tillamook Resource Area, Salem BLM
  • Horning Seed Orchard, Salem BLM
  • Lower and Upper Nehalem Watershed Councils
  • Nestucca/Neskowin Watersheds Council
  • Scappoose Bay Watershed Council
  • Tillamook Bay Watershed Council
  • Tillamook County Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Tillamook Estuaries Partnership
  • Tualatin River Watershed Council
 
Click here for full story . . .

Rogue Valley PAWS Program
PAWS Program
Rogue Valley YCF PAWS program places 35 dogs with new families
Most OYA staff have heard or know about the Project POOCH program at MacLaren, but many may not know that a program with similar characteristics has been in place at Rogue Valley since June of 2006.  It is known as PAWS.
 
Click here for full story. . .
 

From Office of Minority Services
Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 through October 15
In September 1968, Congress authorized President Lyndon B. Johnson to proclaim National Hispanic Heritage Week, which was observed during the week including September 15 and 16. 
In 1988, the observance was expanded to a month-long celebration from September 15 through October 15.  America celebrates the culture and traditions of U.S. residents who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico, and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean.
 
September 15 was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence from Spain of the five Latin American countries:  Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.  In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and 18, respectively.
 
Visit the following websites for more information and interesting facts about Hispanic Heritage Month and Hispanic Americans:

National Preparedness Month
Prep Month logo
National Preparedness Month is a nationwide effort held each September to encourage Americans to take simple steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and schools.
 
National Preparedness Month 2007 is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  The goal of the month is to increase public awareness about the importance of preparing for emergencies and to encourage individuals to take action.
 
Throughout September, Homeland Security will work with a wide variety of organizations, including local, state and federal government agencies and the private sector, to highlight the importance of emergency preparedness and promote individual involvement through events and activities across the nation.
 
Homeland Security invites us to review the National Preparedness Month information at Ready.gov and to participate in this important effort.

Exercising National Preparedness in Oregon
OYA to participate in TOPOFF 4 2007
 
Top Officials 4 (TOPOFF 4) is the most comprehensive terrorism exercise ever conducted in the United States.  Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), TOPOFF 4 is the fourth exercise in the TOPOFF Exercise Series, a Congressionally mandated exercise program.
 
TOPOFF is designed to strengthen the nation's capacity to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). This national-level exercise provides the means to conduct "full-scale, full system tests" of collective preparedness, interoperability, and collaboration across all levels of the state, federal, international government and the private sector.
 
TOPOFF 4 involves a two-year cycle of seminars, planning events, and exercises that culminate in a Full-Scale Exercise to take place on October 15-24, 2007, right here in Oregon.
 
OYA will participate through a table-top exercise of the agency Business Continuity Plan.   Lori Widder, OYA Project Manager, will provide more information on this exciting project.   Contact Lori at Lori.Widder@oya.state.or.us.
 
More information about TOPOFF 4 is also available from the Homeland Security website.

JJIS News
Juvenile Justice Information System (JJIS) Fall release set for Friday, October 19
The JJIS 2007.Fall release includes:
  • Recommendations from the JJIS simplification session at the statewide JPPO/JPPA meeting in April have been prioritized with the highest priority items for the Fall release to include:

    • Caseload support to simplify workflow and data entry through a Task List that displays what is due on a youth’s case, allowing the worker to quickly navigate to the appropriate JJIS screen and complete the task.

      • Initial tasks are maintaining Case Plans and School/Work Verification.  The Task List feature will benefit more workers as additional tasks are added.
      • Adding and maintaining Case Plan Interventions directly in the Long-Term Goal screen.

  • Enhancements to the facility Youth Incident Report that came from the initial pilots at Hillcrest and Rogue Valley Youth Correctional Facilities.
  • Development of a field Youth Incident Report to be piloted at a couple of OYA field offices.
  • Detention Risk Assessment to be used by CEOJJC counties.
  • JJIS Broadcast Messages to appear during the log-on process to inform users of scheduled downtime and other upcoming events, announcements of new features, and useful tips and tricks in JJIS.
 
and more – complete Release Notes and new User Guides describing the changes will be issued prior to the release.
 

E-Mail SPAM, Internet Hoaxes, and Urban Legends
OYA’s Outlook system has been experiencing a high volume of SPAM.  E-mail spam, also known as bulk or junk e-mail, involves sending nearly identical messages to numerous recipients by email.  Do not open these emails, simply delete them.
 
Read a special Security Tips newsletter for more on avoiding SPAM scams.

OYA Website Gets a Facelift
On August 20, the Oregon Youth Authority launched a new version of its website using the updated Oregon government agency designs.  The designs primarily address compliance with American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
 
In the past, because of staffing and resources, the website was designed to be relatively static, with few changes and just using information from each biennium’s budget documents to describe our services and programs.  However, one of the initiatives of the agency’s Communications Workgroup is to utilize the web in a much more dynamic way to keep our clients, partners, and staff informed of what’s happening at OYA.
 
The OYA Web Group has been meeting since May and fast-tracked the project’s original February 2008 timeline to September 2007.
 
What are the changes?
The most obvious change is the two new feature columns front and center on the homepage.  The OYA Web Group chose to use the left side for information about OYA, its history, its “present”, and agency initiatives.  The right side will be updated frequently with links to Director’s bulletins, announcements, and other current news.  While the former website’s home page used only a left-side navigation system, the new design includes an additional set of navigation buttons on the upper right side.  The group decided to keep this group of navigation tabs for family and youth-related information.
  • A new FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page has been added and will eventually include various sections specific for field, facility, and general questions.
  • Reports and Publications join the Newsroom information (newsletters and press releases) under Communications & Publications.
  • OYA Policies have been added to the website and mirror the policies in the Outlook folders.
 
What’s Next?
The group will continue to meet over the coming months to refine the website information, add pictures beyond the “bricks and mortar” of the facility photos, and check in with various partner groups to determine what else would be helpful on the website.  It is definitely a work in progress!
 
Check out the OYA website’s new home page.  Don’t forget . . .  there’s a link to a survey about the site's navigability and usefulness, in addition to an area for you to tell us what’s missing.  Let us know what you think!

Input, Suggestions? Take our survey!
Well, what do you think?
This is our fourth issue!!  And we’d like to know what you think of the evolution of the Bulletin over the past four months.  Please take our online survey.

Formatted Version in PDF
If you would like to view or print a formatted version of the September 2007 Bulletin, click here.  You will need the Acrobat Reader to open the file.