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OYA Directions - October 2007
Director's Corner
OYA Director Bob Jester
OYA Director Robert Jester
We all recognize the importance of creating the most effective service delivery system in juvenile justice.  By bringing together diverse groups representing stakeholders statewide, we strive to achieve inclusiveness in our planning and provision of services.  I want to provide an update on some of our partnering activities.
 
Advisory Committees:  OYA, in collaboration with our advisory committees, is developing work plans that ensure all Oregonians are represented in what we do, and include the voices of cultural responsiveness and gender equity.  Through the African American, Native American, Hispanic, Young Women’s, and OYA Advisory Committees, we forge forward.
 
 
Services to young women:  Two years ago, a work group from the OYA Advisory Committee developed an ambitious plan to improve services for female offenders in OYA’s custody.  I am very pleased that the legislature recognized the value of that work and provided funding to improve services for this significant population, which included the reopening of the Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility in Albany as a female-only facility.  I am grateful for the participation of so many partners in developing and supporting these recommendations, and for their continued advice as we develop the programs and services for young women.  These programs include improving transition services at Corvallis House and expanding community placements.
 

Resources:   The 2007 legislature increased juvenile justice resources provided to OYA and the county systems.  This includes an additional 73 community placements, which will be phased in over our two-year budget period.  We are developing a process to include county juvenile departments, service providers, and other partners to ensure we are using data and experience to identify the most pressing needs in juvenile justice.  We are also working with our public safety partners to identify the types of treatment services needed in the   additional  close  custody
resources the legislature approved.
 
Wraparound:  Earlier this year, Governor Kulongoski issued an Executive Order directing state agencies and others to develop a plan to implement a Wraparound model in Oregon.  The model uses an intensive, multi-disciplinary process to meet the needs and address the risks in young people with significant mental health issues.  The OYA has been participating in a pilot project in Multnomah County and has been involved in the Governor’s process as well.  A report to the Governor will be issued in the near future, which I think will provide significant opportunities for improving partnerships, emphasizing prevention as an integral part of juvenile justice, and diverting at-risk youth from the juvenile justice system.  I’m sure we will be doing more with Wraparound in the months and years to come.
 
Human Services:  The OYA is working with Bruce Goldberg and his staff at the Department of Human Services to focus on how we can improve some of the processes and areas where the work of the OYA and juvenile justice intersects with the many services provided by DHS.  It has been more than a decade since OYA and DHS separated organizationally.  Both Bruce and I recognize our continued relationship, and the importance of ensuring that any differences in our overlapping services, policies, and procedures are the result of decisions that have been reviewed and affirmed, and not just traditional practices that have carried on through time. 
 
Department of Corrections:  The OYA has worked closely with the Department of Corrections on improving transition services when offenders move between OYA and DOC facilities or are released to adult post-prison supervision.  The recent Governor’s Executive Order that creates the Transition Council will bring partners and stakeholders together to further this work project.
 
I recognize that we could not have made these gains without your active support and collaboration.  I want to thank you for your partnership in achieving the strong outcomes that showcase Oregon’s effective juvenile justice programs.
 

Legislative Update
February 2008 Supplemental Session Planning Started
While the 74th Legislative session is complete, members will continue working hard over the next few months.  For the first time, the Legislature will reconvene in February 2008 for a supplemental session. House and Senate Members will serve on interim committees, which will consider a broad range of issues and draft legislation, so the Legislature can hit the ground running in February.  Governor Kulongoski and state agencies will not introduce bills, instead moving concepts through the House and Senate interim committees.  

When originally conceived, this even-year legislative session was seen as a budget-tweaking opportunity. State tax revenues are holding steady, so there isn't significant additional revenue to spend. The Emergency Board, which normally handles budget matters in the interim, will be on hold. Instead, an interim Joint Ways and Means Committee will meet during the February session to tackle a workload comparable to two E-Board meetings.
 
For a listing of committee membership, go to the sites listed below:
 
Senate Committees;
 
http://www.leg.state.or.us/press_releases/courtney_081507.pdf
 
House Committees;
 
http://www.leg.state.or.us/press_releases/merkley_081407.htm
 

OYA Wraps Up 2007 Session with Summary Report
The 2007 Legislature recognized the success that OYA and our juvenile justice partners have had in achieving our public safety outcomes, and has given us additional resources to improve on our record.  We will have additional opportunities, as the overall agency budget will increase by about $53 million over the 2005-07 level. 
 
During each legislative session, OYA staff track bills and provide a summary of legislation enacted that have the most potential to impact business practice and service delivery.
  • To find priority bills, as well as steps OYA will take to respond to legislation that occurred during the 2007 session, please click here.
  • To view the Budget Highlights from the Legislative Fiscal Office 2007-09 please click here.
 
For more information, email  Phil.Lemman@oya.state.or.us  

Oak Creek Reopening Project Update
Work continues on the reopening of the Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility this winter as a gender-specific facility for young women.  Significant renovation and remodel efforts are underway to create an environment specifically designed to serve young women.  Workgroups, along with a steering committee, meet on a regular basis to guide the planning, preparation, and implementation of the facility’s opening. Here is our progress to-date:
 
Remodel Update:
As a result of diligent work by OYA staff, the State Procurement Office, and consultant teams, elements of the remodel project were advertised for bid on schedule.  It is anticipated that bids will be opened and reviewed on October 30th.  It is the State Procurement Office’s responsibility to review the bid submissions and ensure that requirements have been met.  Once that process is complete, the contracts can be awarded to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder, and construction can start. 
 
Additionally, work is being completed to place the furniture order, finalize the color schemes, and plan how additional security cameras can be installed. 
 
Name the Living Units:
On October 9, 2007, the Steering Committee reviewed a significant number of excellent and thoughtful suggestions for living unit names submitted by OYA staff, partners, and the young women at Hillcrest.  Thanks to all those who participated in this exercise! 
 
The Steering Committee selected their top three recommendations, which the Director’s Office reviewed and agreed with.  The living units will be named:
  • Aspen (Symbolizes determination, overcoming fears and doubts, endurance and courage)
  • Birch (Symbolizes new beginnings and cleansing of the past)
  • Cedar (Symbolizes healing and protection)
 
These unit names connect very well with the “Oak” in Oak Creek YCF, which is known as the mightiest of trees and symbolizes strength and courage.
 
Special thanks to ChrisDuval who submitted the living unit name suggestions.
 
Oak Creek Superintendent
Selection for the Oak Creek Superintendent position continues, with final candidates currently being considered.  This process is expected to take several more weeks.
 
Hiring Process Moves Forward
Management positions (Program Director, Treatment Managers (3), Security Manager and Cook Supervisor) closed October 10.   First round interviews are slated to begin November 12-16.  Flash announcements (notifications of job openings emailed to employees) for all remaining positions are expected to be posted on October 29, 2007.
 
Training:
Additional New Employee Orientation and Basic Facility Trainings have been scheduled to accommodate the hiring timeframes for Oak Creek.  The training will encompass gender-specific concepts and approaches, and incorporate role plays, scenarios, techniques and other considerations customized to serve the female population. 
 
75-bed Capacity Increase:
As the Oregon Youth Authority prepares for the addition of 75 close custody beds, we are looking for input from the juvenile department directors and OYA field offices to assist us in identifying the profile types of youth that may access this additional capacity.  This information, along with our current population demands and trends of youth in OYA facilities, will be reviewed to help us make determinations about the focus for additional units in the facility system.  Discussions will also consider what living unit focus will be most appropriate for the three units at Hillcrest transitioning to a male population following the opening of Oak Creek.   A sub group will meet October 24, and their recommendations will be shared with groups and stakeholders for input.
  
Timeframe Update:
Oak Creek will be operational in January, with staff training and facility preparation.  The young women are slated to begin moving to the facility February 11, 2008.  This slight adjustment was made to meet the demands of the physical plant remodel and renovation.
 
For more information on Oak Creek, email Shirlee.Pierce@oya.state.or.us
 

Sex Offender Treatment Programs
OYA and statewide partners engaged in a two-year grant process, working toward the development of an agency-wide curriculum for the treatment of juvenile sex offenders.  This work is funded by the U.S. Department of Justice's Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM), and guided by the Center for Effective Public Policy. 
 
In July and August ‘07, a work group was convened that included 35 OYA staff members, as well as partner agencies. Dr. Keith Kaufman and two graduate assistants from Portland State University are providing the direction, literature review, and support for the project.  Subcommittees identified core modules and have begun the development phase.  Core models include:
 
  • Healthy Sexuality
  • Attitudes and Beliefs about Sex and Sexuality
  • Sexual History Disclosure
  • Behavioral, Cognitive and Emotional Modulation Skill
  • Patterns of Offending Behavior
  • Victim Awareness
  • Taking Ownership
  • Family Treatment
  • Clarification
  • Transition
  • Re-entry for the transition facilities
 
The implementation phase will include staff training and test pilot sites at MacLaren and Tillamook Youth Correctional Facilities.  Once this initial test is completed and curriculum adjustments have been made, phase-in will begin at all other OYA facilities delivering sex offender treatment to youth. 
 
Staff training will be developed under the guidance of Gary Lasater from the Training Academy. OYA Information Systems will develop an efficient method of documentation and evaluation.  Focus will include assessments and evaluations to guide placements and treatments over time.  This is a comprehensive and exciting project.  Thank you to all who have contributed.
 
For more information, please email Mary.McBride@oya.state.or.us
 

SchoolWorks Re-Entry Program
The Juvenile Rights Project (JRP), Oregon Youth Authority (OYA), and the Multnomah Circuit court are committed to a collaborative effort to ensure that youth offenders re-entering the community after a period of time in a close custody facility are able to access all services, particularly educational services.  Studies have demonstrated that successful involvement in education at re-entry will substantially reduce the likelihood of recidivism.
 
Honorable Dale R. Koch, OYA Director Robert Jester, and JRP’s Janet Merrell have renewed a Memorandum of Understanding effective through September 2008 that outlines the roles and responsibilities in carrying out the JRP’s SchoolWorks Re-Entry Program. 
 
SchoolWorks provide services to youth exiting close custody facilities intended to ease their return to community-based school placements.  Staff work to reduce barriers including lack of credits, school mobility, developmental disabilities, environmental risk factors, and social perceptions that may stand in the way of a youth’s success in school.
 
This Memorandum of Understanding further strengthens the goals of the project through the coordination of agency resources, staffing, and problem solving.  In addition, it is said to be the beginning process of becoming a Juvenile Delinquency Court of Excellence, in accordance with guidelines established by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. 
 
Congratulation on your vision and to continued success!
 
For more information on SchoolWorks, click here.

OYA Demand Forecast Released
The Department of Administrative Services’ Office of Economic Analysis released the Oregon Youth Authority’s Demand Forecast on October 9, 2007.  This forecast covers youths committed to OYA who are in close custody or out of home community placement. 
 
Close custody demand is going up.  The new forecast shows slight, but continuing, increases in close custody demand throughout the 10-year forecast period.  At the end of this biennium, OYA will be funded at 995 close custody beds, while the new forecast shows demand at 1,269 (up 99 from the April forecast). 
Community placement demand is going up.  It shows the same trend as close custody – slight but continuing growth.  OYA is funded at 681 community placements by the end of this biennium.  The new forecast shows demand at 708 as of July 09 (up 29 from the April forecast).
 
To view the entire demand forecast report, click here.
 
For more information, email Phil.Lemman@oya.state.or.us

Annual Progress Board Report on Performance
OYA Parole Recidivism and Incidents of Youth Self-Harm on the Decline
 
The Oregon Youth Authority, along with all other state agencies, is required by the Oregon Progress Board (OPB) to report on agency performance each fiscal year. The OYA devotes a significant amount of time preparing a comprehensive report, over 50 pages in length, which details information on 14 specific Key Performance Measures (KPMs).
 
The KPMs provide valuable information on areas critical to agency success.  A brief summary of the data from the fiscal year 2006-07 is provided below:
 
  • The OYA had more escapes from close custody facilities and runaways from provider supervision than originally anticipated for this year (KPMs 1 & 2).
 
  • Youth-to-youth injuries in the facilities showed an increase since the last fiscal year (KPM 3a).
 
  • The field has had no staff-to-youth injuries over the past two fiscal years (KPM 3b).
 
  • The OYA facilities showed a significant decrease in the number of youth demonstrating suicidal behavior (KPM 5a).
 
  • The OYA fell short of its targets on the percentage of youth who received an OYA risk needs assessment within 30 days of commitment or admission (KPM 6), as well as its target for the percentage of youth who have an active case plan within 30 days of commitment (KPM 7).
 
  • Approximately 81% of youth eligible for an Individual Education Plan in this fiscal year received these services.
 
  • The number of youth receiving community re-entry services and youth engagement in school and work (KPMs 9 and 10 a & b) were slightly down from last fiscal year.
 
  • There was an increase in the percentage of restitution paid compared with fiscal year 2006 (KPM 11).
 
  • Parole recidivism rates (KPM 12) have decreased from last year, although probation recidivism rates (KPM 13) have shown a slight increase (from 9.6 to 9.9) for youth tracked over a 12-month period.
 
A more extensive list of strategies, along with specific action steps, can be viewed by clicking here.
 
For more information, contact Sharon.Pette@oya.state.or.us.

News from Juvenile Justice Information System (JJIS)
JJIS Referral Charts & Trends Report Available
The JJIS Steering Committee is pleased to announce publication of the “Total Referrals – Charts and Trends (2006)” report.  The report, prepared by the JJIS Data & Evaluation Committee and the OYA Research & Evaluation Unit, signifies another milestone accomplishment of the JJIS interagency partnership.  The report provides a graphical representation of the 2006 referral data, as well as Oregon referral trends over the past 10 years.  The new report is a companion to the year-end “Youth & Referrals (2006)” report published in March, 2007.
 
The complete report is available from OYA’s website

JJIS Automates CEOJJC Detention Risk Assessment Instrument
JJIS continues to provide automation and support for best practice initiatives within the partnership between OYA and the 36 county juvenile departments.  The Central Eastern Oregon Juvenile Justice Consortium (CEOJJC) counties are participating in the national Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, and have been working with JJIS to automate its new Detention Risk Assessment Instrument, known as the CEOJJC DRAI.
 
This new tool in JJIS will feature automated data links and scoring to assist COEJJC counties to make informed detention admission decisions, using objective decision-making criteria consistently across the consortium.  The DRAI will also assist CEOJJC in evaluating its use of detention, helping to reduce minority over-representation, targeting resources for youth most at risk of public safety or failure to appear at a hearing, and identifying the need for alternatives.  

OYA Website Gets a Facelift
Check out the OYA website's new home page!!
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.

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!  Don’t forget . . . there’s a link to a survey about the site with questions about its navigability and usefulness, in addition an area for you to tell us what’s missing.  Let us know what you think!

Hillcrest Youth Award Grants
Community 101 is a service learning class taught at Robert Farrell School (RFS) on the Hillcrest YCF campus. The class represents collaboration among the Oregon Department of Education, Willamette Education Service District, and Portland General Electric (PGE), in support of high school students in Oregon. RFS was fortunate to become a part of this program during 2007. 
 
Youth in the Community 101 class research non-profit organizations, create requests for proposals, solicit grant requests, review the submissions, and award the grants over the class term. Essentially, the youth at RFS function as a foundation board.  On August 21, they awarded funds totaling $5,000 to five non-profit agencies dealing with community needs in the areas of violence prevention, health care, and education.  The funds were made available by PGE.  The next quarter of class activities are beginning October 1, and we have received another commitment of $5,000 from PGE.
 
Community 101’s effort is resulting in many positive outcomes.  RFS students are developing important skills including teamwork, conducting community needs assessments, doing research, interviewing community agency representatives, leveraging funds, writing grants, understanding the work of foundations, and participating in service learning.  Students are also developing empathy.  They are getting to know first-hand the needs of many people in our community and the limited funds available to take care of them.  They are responding to these needs and actively helping others, even while still incarcerated.  In their words, “We are experiencing healing, forgiveness, and are giving back to the communities and families we have once taken so much from.”
 
For more info on the Community 101 class, email Chris.Duval@oya.state.or.us  

From Community Services
Youth Guidance Association
Since its inception, Youth Guidance Association has been determined to provide quality staff and services for young people in trouble.  That commitment continues to this day.  YGA was established in the late 1960's as a division of Youth for Christ when property was purchased at Welches, Oregon (the former Fred Meyer summer estate) for a boys’ residential treatment program.  Named “Son Village”, the first two boys entered the program in 1969.
 
As the treatment needs of the clients increased in severity, it became necessary to provide 24-hour supervision for all the residents, and to move away from the original house-parent model.  In 1991, programs adjusted to round-the-clock staffing, with awake-night coverage to ensure the safety of every resident.
 
In 1999, YGA programs were intensified and strengthened when Behavioral Rehabilitation Services were implemented.  Meeting the high BRS standards allowed YGA to provide an advanced level of services to clients and their families.
 
Building Confidence and Teamwork
Youth Guidance does a fund-raising campaign every year to provide the youth in its programs the opportunity to have a camping experience during the summer. The staff involved all agree that it is “definitely worth all the time and effort” put into making it happen.  Boys from Charis Ridge went out this summer with “On the Edge Adventures” (OTEA), which provides wilderness experiences designed to build self-confidence, teamwork and leadership.
 
Shirley Heck, YGA’s Program Administrator, recently spoke with several of the youth who participated this summer, and was once again impressed with the impact that this kind of experience can have.  The theme of building self-confidence came through over and over again. 
One of the youth, John, said that his favorite activity was the white water rafting because it was “something I never thought I could do.  It was a great experience.”  John has not been known for his tenacity or perseverance, but he hung in there (quite literally, when he was rock-climbing!) through all of the events.  On a particularly challenging part of the mountain bike trail, he popped his tire; and he and two of the staff ended up having to walk back 7 miles.  His response -- “I didn’t let it spoil the time for me.  It was all part of the adventure.”  For John, that’s real progress.
 
Another youth, Michael, felt the same way about the experience.  He will be graduating the program in September, and sees that he has really grown in his leadership during the course of his time in YGA’s care.  He took the lead when it came to the rock-climbing.  “I had to really work for it, but it felt like I had really done something.  And coming back down—well, that was a blast!”  Michael even spoke with the OTEA Director about going through the training to become a guide after he turns 18.
 

Important Announcements
Oregon will participate in an emergency exercise, TOPOFF4
“Top Officials 4” is the nation’s fourth major exercise in emergency preparedness. Using resources that Congress made available to prepare for acts of terrorism, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security sponsors the TOPOFF exercises as part of a thorough assessment of America’s ability to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from an attack that involves a weapon of mass destruction.
 
During the week of October 15-19, Oregon's state and local governments will participate with the federal government in a national emergency exercise in Portland, Oregon.  You may hear news reports of bombs exploding or of poisonous clouds in our region. This is all part of an exerciseto test Oregon's ability to respond to an emergency and protect and care for its citizens.  This "Top Officials" exercise is conducted every two years by the federal government. This year, the exercise involves detonation of simulated "dirty bombs" in Portland, Arizona and the island of Guam.
 
For more information, and to view the Frequently Asked Questions sheet, click here.  
Or email Lori.Widder@oya.state.or.us  

Governor's Summit Registration is Open
 
9th Annual Governor's Summit on Minority Overrepresentation in the Juvenile Justice System&5th Annual Governor's YOUTH Awards
 
 
November 29, 2007
Holiday Inn – PortlandAirport Hotel & Conference Center
8439 NE Columbia Boulevard
Portland
 
For more information and to register, click here.

Comments, Stories?
Look for the next edition of OYA Directions in January 2008   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 October 2007 Directions, click here.  You will need the Acrobat Reader to open the file.