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OYA Directions - July 2007
Director's Corner
Robert Jester, OYA Director
Robert Jester, OYA Director
 
Welcome to the inaugural edition of OYA Directions, a new quarterly publication created to communicate new developments about the Oregon Youth Authority as well as juvenile justice in Oregon to OYA’s juvenile justice partners and stakeholders, and to the public.  I hope you find Directions interesting and informative, and welcome your comments and suggestions.
 
It continues to be an exciting time at the OYA and in juvenile justice.  OYA’s budget had tremendous support from Governor Kulongoski and the legislature, and we regained many resources lost during the 2003 recession.  A separate article in this publication provides more detail on legislative activities.
 
We could not have made those gains without the active support of our partners and the strong outcomes that showcase Oregon’s effective juvenile justice programs.  While we will need to carefully manage those resources and will have continuing funding challenges, we will be able to provide more and better services to youth in the 2007-09 budget period.
 
The OYA has identified its goals for the 2007-09 biennium, and I want to briefly share them with you. In the short term, we will be doing the program planning and facility renovation required to re-open the Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility in Albany as a best-practices, single-gender facility for young women.  We have begun our work in responding to allegations of financial improprieties at the River Bend facility, ensuring we have appropriate controls in place to safeguard public resources, and doing the consulting and planning necessary to allocate our budget resources.
 
We also have specific work to do with our state agency partners. This includes:  1) improving transition services when Department of Corrections offenders move to adult facilities or are released on adult post-prison supervision; 2) reviewing our intersections with the Department of Human Services to ensure we are working together efficiently, effectively, and collaboratively; and 3) reviewing education services provided through the Department of Education to older youth and high-school graduates in OYA facilities to identify program needs and costs.
 
In addition, we have ongoing work implementing Oregon’s evidence-based practices law; reducing disproportionate minority contact in juvenile justice; developing a common continuum of treatment services to sex offenders; and improving our accountability activities, including revising OYA’s Key Performance Measures.
 
I look forward to working with you to accomplish these and other goals.

Legislative Update
 
Significant restoration of budget cuts made in 2003 was the hallmark for OYA and juvenile justice from the 74th Legislative Assembly.  The legislature adjourned on June 28, after the shortest session in recent legislative history.  OYA will prepare and distribute a more comprehensive report, but here are some highlights.
 
Passing this budget would not have been possible without the support of Governor Kulongoski, whose proposed budget for OYA restored most of the cuts made during the recent recession, as well as the support of OYA’s juvenile justice partners and stakeholders.  Legislative support for that work was summed up by Rep. Nancy Nathanson (D-Eugene), who carried the OYA on the House floor:  “When we look at the performance measures and the results we are getting, we know that our money is being spent well, and that further investments are important and needed.”  The OYA will be working with partners and stakeholders to manage the budget resources and continue to improve the outcomes for services.
 
We will need to continue managing public resources carefully, but will be able to address many current needs with this new budget.  Click other legislative actions for more budget and policy highlights.
For more information, contact Phil.Lemman@oya.state.or.us.

"SchoolWorks"
Juvenile Rights Project Initiative
 
Assisting over 1,100 children and youth in the last five yearsto stay in school and out of trouble.
The Juvenile Rights Project (JRP) established the SchoolWorks program with the award of a four-year, $800,000 federal Byrne grant in 2002.
 
Many youth have been re-enrolled in school, have moved to  more appropriate educational settings, have received improved special education or other supportive services, and have had expulsions suspended or averted.
 
OYA would like to thank Angela Sherbo and the JRP for leading us in this important initiative.
 
For details on this successful project, read the full article provided by JRP.

2007 Governor's DMC Summit
 
Mark your calendar!!!
 
The 2007 Governor's Summit on Disproportionate Minority Contact will be held on Thursday, November 29, 2007, at the Portland Airport Holiday Inn and Convention Center.
 
This year’s theme, Focus on Priorities, Spotlight Successes, and Commit to Positive Outcomes,” will identify issues facing minority youth, and their successes.
 
Additional information will be available in the coming months, including on-line registration, agenda items, and a list of speakers and sessions. 
 
For more information, contact Dianna.Brainard@oya.state.or.us or call OYA’s Office of Minority Services at 503-378-4667.
 

Oak Creek Re-Opening
Oak Creek Gender-Specific Program Working Effectively with Young Women
 
The Oregon Youth Authority will begin transitioning female offenders from Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility (YCF) to Oak Creek YCF in Albany in January 2008.  The facility has 75 beds in three pods, all of which will re-open for the first time since OYA closed this location in 2002.  The Linn-Benton Detention Center occupies the remaining pod.

 
The legislature has approved $2 million to remodel the facility; the bill now goes to Governor Kulongoski for his signature. Some remodeling is necessary to change the facility to house only females, which had previously housed both males and females.  Beaman Architecture, Ltd., has designed modifications to include sight and sound separation from Linn-Benton Detention Center, remodeling in the dorms and restrooms, and improvements to the interior courtyard.  Renovations to the facility will begin this summer.
 
Re-opening Oak Creek provides OYA and the juvenile justice system an opportunity to engage in best practice services for our young women in Oregon.  OYA would like to thank Pam Patton for chairing the Gender Specific Work Group of the OYA Advisory Committee.  Many recommendations from the group’s report were adopted.  The recruitment process for a superintendent is anticipated to begin in late July 2007.
 
For more information, Brian.Florip@oya.state.or.us.

OYA Looks at Youth Recidivism
Recent OYA Study Shows Downtrend in Youth Recidivism
 
by Willie Rhodes
 
The latest OYA recidivism study reports continued decreases in repeat criminal behavior.  Recidivism within the 36-month tracking period fell for both the parole and probation youth offender population.
 
The OYA Research and Evaluation Unit recently completed an examination of recidivism data for probation, parole, and DOC youth offenders who were committed to OYA (in community placement or released from an OYA close custody facility) between July 1, 2000, and June 30, 2005. The downtrend was more accentuated in the probation population and less pronounced in the parole population.
 
The DOC population experienced an increase in recidivism, but small cohorts make the DOC rates inherently less stable.  (For DOC, just two additional cases of recidivism in FY01, and two fewer in FY03 would have flattened the trend line.)
 
Detailed findings are available in four separate reports posted on the OYA website.

OYA Quick Facts
July Quick Facts Available
 
OYA Quick Facts is a profile of the criminal and social characteristics of the OYA offender population.  It is updated twice a year.  In addition, it highlights employee demographics and other basic information about the agency budget.
 
To view the July 2007 release, please click Quick Facts.

Focus on Assessment
OYA Focus on the Importance of Accurate Assessment
 
Accurate, reliable assessment of criminogenic risk and need is the foundation of effective correctional programming.  OYA field and facility staff use the agency’s Risk/Needs Assessment (better known as the OYA "RNA") shortly after commitment to identify risk to re-offend and treatment needs.
 
The OYA RNA classifies risk to re-offend as low, moderate, and high.  Current statistics show the overwhelming majority of youth in OYA custody are “high risk.” The table provides a detailed breakout by risk level for youth in the field (e.g., on parole or probation) and facilities (e.g., in an OYA close custody facility). Once a risk level is determined and needs are identified, a comprehensive case plan is developed based on individual needs to guide youth in treatment. 
 

RISK LEVEL
PERCENTAGE OF YOUTH
Field
Facility
Low
3.5
2.3
Moderate
19.9
17.3
High
76.6
80.4
 
In order to maximize the . . .   click here for the remainder of this article.

Clinical Director Appointed
Dr. Mary McBride Appointed as OYA Clinical Director
 
OYA is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Mary McBride as OYA’s Clinical Director.
 
Dr. McBride will lead the agency’s continued efforts, implementing evidence-based practices.
Mary comes to OYA from Clackamas County Community Health Division, where she was assistant director for Quality and Performance Improvement. She also served with Clackamas County from 1999-2005 as clinical director, and has worked a number of years at the Oregon State Hospital, as Director of the Secure Adolescent Unit.
 
Dr. McBride is excited about assisting the agency implement to assessments and evidence-based interventions.  She will provide clinical and programmatic supervision for treatment services and curricula.  Please join us in welcoming Dr. McBride to the OYA team.

Performance-based Standards
 
Facility improvement project reaches ten-year anniversary.
 
The Oregon Youth Authority (OYA) has been a statewide participant in the Performance-based Standards project for over ten years.  The project came at a very opportune time in the mid 1990’s as OYA had several new facilities on line.  Under the Project Management of Frank Martin, OYA’s participation has allowed the agency to implement comprehensive and systematic improvements across all of the youth correctional facilities.  Using data collections and facility improvement plans, the OYA has made significant gains in safety and security.
 
For more on PbS, please refer to the PbS July 2007 newsletter, or contact Frank.Martin@oya.state.or.us.
 

Sex Offender Treatment
Next Steps in Sex Offender Treatment Curriculum
 
Over the last three years, the OregonYouth Authority (OYA) has worked toward the development of an agency-wide curriculum for the treatment of juvenile sex offenders.
Toward this goal, OYA and statewide partners engaged in a two-year grant process funded by the federal Department of Justice's Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM), and guided by the Center for Effective Public Policy.  Concurrently, Drs. Orin Bolstad and Laura Zorich, contractors at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, worked with OYA staff to begin development of sex offender treatment protocols.
 
The OYA is moving forward with the work of the CSOM grant and the work of staff and partners.  By engaging the services of Dr. Keith Kaufman to lead the pulling together of all of the work to date, he will complete the development of OYA’s sex offender treatment curriculum.
Dr. Kaufman, currently chair of Portland State University’s Department of Psychology, has extensive experience in juvenile sex offender research and curriculum development.  He has served as past President of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers (ATSA), was chair of the national prevention task force for ATSA, and the Prevention Subcommittee of the Oregon Attorney General's Sexual Assault Task Force.  Prior to coming to Oregon, Dr. Kaufman served 12 years as a faculty member in the departments of pediatrics and psychology at the Ohio State University, and a staff member of the Columbus Children's Hospital.
 
Shirley Didier of OYA's Program Office will coordinate the development of a research-based facility curriculum with Dr. Kaufman.  Over the course of the next four to five months, a wide range of activities will take place with OYA facility sex offender (SO) treatment staff, community SO providers, juvenile department stakeholders, and others.  The goal is to begin piloting modules of the curriculum in four facility units by late autumn 2007.  Regular updates will be provided in OYA Directions. 
 
Please contact Shirley.Didier@oya.state.or.us for more information.

Changing Offender Behavior
"Core Cog Curriculum"
 
Training has started for the implementation of the Changing Offender Behavior(‘Core Cog’) curriculum in the facilities.
 
The Changing Offender Behaviorevidence-based curriculum will be provided to all youth placed in Oregon Youth Correctional Facilities and be supported with additional work in the transition programs and camps.
 
This curriculum will provide the foundation for the services being provided throughout the OYA treatment system.  Research has shown that cognitive-behavioral interventions are a cornerstone of effective correctional treatment. These interventions can be modeled and practiced in an ongoing basis, in every aspect of service provisions to our youth, and in the confines of the treatment group.  Having one consistent curriculum as the basis for services will provide OYA youth with opportunities to build upon previous skills rather than continuing to engage in the same learning when transitioning to a new facility, program, or community-based treatment.
 
This curriculum teaches skills in the areas of communication; determining the costs/benefits of changing irresponsible behaviors; learning how to change behaviors by understanding the impacts of thoughts, perceptions, and feelings; avoiding or managing high-risk situations or thoughts that lead to trouble; problem solving; and ongoing self-evaluation.  Participants will also learn about the cognitive-behavioral chain, the thinking and action steps of problem-solving, and the stages of change.
 
Several living units are already facilitating this curriculum, with all units to begin early in the fall 2007. 
 
For more information on the treatment curriculum, contact Philip.Cox@oya.state.or.us.

Comments? Stories?
 
Look for the next edition of OYA Directions in October 2007
 
Please provide feedback and/or story ideas to Robyn.Cole@oya.state.or.us.

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