Umatilla County Reentry Information


Overview

The purpose of this article is to give the Community Corrections practitioner a practical tool in implementing practices that are consistent with the larger process of Offender Re-Entry. The process of reach-in provides a simple method of contacting an offender prior to release from prison or jail custody for the purpose of coordinating services upon release, thus reducing the anxiety of the offender and the supervising officer on the day the offender comes back in the community. Attempting to measure outcomes for a reach-in practice is difficult, although employee performance indicators can help ensure that the process occurs. Through data review of the larger picture, a person can reasonably accept that the reach-in process is beneficial in the transition process.

Umatilla/Morrow Counties are adjacent to each other in eastern Oregon. The counties are rural in nature, with an offender population totaling 930-950 persons. Morrow County is very small by comparison, amounting to approximately 10% of the overall population. Our two county offender population constitutes 2.95% of the entire Oregon State offender population, which is an indicator of a small to medium sized county by comparison to other counties within the state. The largest county within the state is Multnomah, which provides services to 22.5% of the states supervised felony offender population. There are 36 counties within the state with a total felony offender population of approximately 35,000. There are currently 32 county entities providing services to the felony population, as some of the smaller counties agree to pool resources and establish a regional, multi-county office.

The community supports a population of 84,681 people. In Umatilla County, the population centers are in two main categories and for the purposes of this writing, are essentially split into east and west geographic locations. We operate two full time offices, one in the east region and one in the west region. The east region also provides the jail services and Umatilla County Program Center, which is a 30-bed facility utilized for treatment, work force development, and other programs. The west office provides outpatient treatment programs and staff facilities. Unique to Umatilla/Morrow counties is a single judicial district that provides for three separate court facilities with two in Umatilla County and one in Morrow County. The offender population is essentially split between the east region and west region offices, with 56% of the High/Medium risk offenders in the east and 44% of the remaining High/Medium risk offenders in the west.

Umatilla County has two state prison facilities with one in the east region and one in the west region. Interesting, neither prison constitutes a “releasing facility.” Most prison releases come from the extreme northeast part of the state, 170 miles from our county. Future discussions may create the possibility of one of the State Prisons located in Umatilla County being designated as a releasing facility.

Umatilla/Morrow employees 40.5 staff, and are currently structured within the county government under the Sheriff’s Office. There are 17 probation/parole officers with 2 field supervisors. Please see attachment 1, “Umatilla County Organizational Flow Chart.”

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Oregon's Model for Post Prison Supervision

In 1997 new law was adopted as a result of Senate Bill 1145. This bill outlined major changes in the way supervision services are delivered. For the purpose of this article, it is important to note these changes, as the location of certain offenders changed dramatically.

Senate Bill 1145 changed the authority from State provided services to those of the counties. The Oregon Department of Corrections would no longer provide the direct service and each county developed there own supervision and services plans, which are approved by the state. In addition, the custody of certain offenders remained local and included the population of a sentenced felon of twelve months or less who in the past spent this custody time in the State prisons. This change required those same offenders to remain locally in each county with a designated Supervisory Authority.

The Supervisory Authority is designated by the County Commissioners and may vary from county to county. Supervisory Authority is defined as the state or local corrections agency or official designated in each county by that county’s board of County Commissioners or county court to operate corrections supervision services, custodial facilities or both. In Umatilla County the Commissioners have designated the Sheriff as Supervisory Authority who delegates the corrections supervision services to the Director of Community Corrections.

Offenders who have been convicted of a felony, sentenced to twelve months or less, and have a condition of Post Prison Supervision require sentence calculation, release planning activity, and post prison supervision orders. Since these requirements are the same as those required of a State prisoner, the transition and reach-in process are also similar, except that local offenders are seen face-to-face and state prisoners are contacted telephonically. For offenders who are serving a sentence beyond twelve months, the Oregon Department of Corrections conducts the sentence calculations, release plans to the local offices, and the State Board of Parole and Post Prison Supervision provides for the conditions and actual post prison order. It is during this release planning process that our local office makes contact with the offender and the release counselor to provide the releasing authority information required in the release plan and post prison order.

The two process models evidenced in Oregon with the felony sentenced population are similar in function, although distinctly indicate two separate releasing authorities. The Local Supervisory Authority and the State Board of Parole and Post Prison Supervision. The two populations are easily explained as “prison releases,” and “local control releases.” Although the processes for reach-in may vary between the releasing authorities, the content and information gathered remain the same.

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Reach in Defined

As the State of Oregon continues to redefine its mission in respect to offender and successful re-entry, our county has provided information and input regarding the early contact with offenders in custody, or “reach-in.” Our partnership with the State of Oregon, Department of Corrections (ODOC) has provided our system the ability to redefine our roles as probation/parole officers (field) and release counselors (prison). Policies and practices begin to change to accommodate transition efforts, especially the way in which officers and counselors are working together to reach a formidable release plan that includes the offender’s involvement and his/her opportunity to support the plan.

Our procedure and practice defines reach-in as “an important part of the transition process when the field Probation/Parole Officer makes contact with an inmate to discuss his/her upcoming release.” The purpose of reach-in is to establish the beginning of a working relationship with the offender, to provide the offender with as much information as possible to make his/her transition to the community smooth, and to receive pertinent information from the offender about risks and needs so that the officer can be prepared to help with the offender’s transition to the community. The actual procedure then continues to define the reach-in process, please see “UCCC Reach-In Procedure” as Attachment 2.

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Umatilla/Morrow History and Experience with Reach in

Umatilla/Morrow counties became involved in reach-in services as a result of a successful grant application with the Edward Byrne Memorial Grant series entitled “Offender Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs.” Our local program developed for the grant was entitled “New Life”, which provided programming components as well as contact with the offender while in custody. The grant required the services be delivered to a specific population of offenders who were in transition from prison or jail to the community. The grant also required offenders in prison custody to have received alcohol and drug services while in that custody, with a continuation of alcohol and drug services upon release. These proved to be challenging requirements, mainly due to the small number of inmates receiving alcohol and drug treatment while in custody. It became evident that these types of services were not readily available, or that inmates were able to avoid these services through manipulation of the system or acting out to avoid attendance of programs.

Our reach-in process began in 2001 as a requirement of the above mentioned grant. It became evident that the process was beneficial to the transition process, and in 2005 our office expanded the target population for reach-ins to include all releases from prison and or local jail that had a condition of post prison supervision. Many lessons were learned during the duration of the New Life program, one of which was the importance of defining the reach-in process. We also realized the need for additional programming components and opportunities on how to expand our services, both locally and with our State partners. This is further described in the section regarding Oregon’s Partnership with Counties.

The reach-in process was designed to reduce the tension, fear, frustration of the offender, as well as remove the ability for manipulation of the process as they move from a custodial setting to the community. It also provides the supervising officer with the information required to develop an offender’s case plan. This early information reduces the amount of time necessary on the first visit, and allows an indication of risk, needs, and early intervention. Appointments may be created during the reach-in process, allowing the offender early information about what is to be expected regarding supervision requirements, treatment, housing, employment, and other.

The current number of releases for Umatilla/Morrow Counties include an average of 8-9 prison releases per month and 10-15 local control releases per month, for a total average of 20-24 reach-ins per month. This number of releases does not constitute a large workload, and these services are easily provided from the work force available for this work activity.

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The Reach in Process

Our Program Manager, Amber Katz vote the reach in process as referenced in “Attachment 2.”

The procedure is a simple, step-by-step outline allowing officers the means to collect important information regarding the offender. Risk and need information can also be obtained through interview, which provides a quick screening method for determining a reasonable action plan for the offender upon his/her release. The step-by-step method is described as:

  1. The office receives a Release Investigation from the Institution or Supervisory Authority.
  2. The investigation is immediately assigned to a field PPO for investigation and reach-in.
  3. Within 30 days of assignment, the PPO contacts the institution and sets an appointment to complete the reach-in. This information is captured through electronic, chronological notes.
  4. Reach-in is completed and officers are instructed to utilize the “Reach-in Risks/Needs Assessment Form” for guidance.
  5. PPO e-mails our local Transition Team indicating that the reach-in is completed with any referrals to programming attached.
  6. PPO enters a detailed, electronic chronological entry with an overview of each area of which the offender was assessed. The PPO is given an outline that addresses the assessment requirements
  7. Reporting Instructions are given and Reach-In process is complete.

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Service Available to Transitioning Offenders

Based on the information received during the reach-in, the officer may make referral to a number of treatment services and/or programs. The early risk/need assessment during reach-in is only screening in nature, and the officer will schedule an appointment for a Level of Service Case Management Inventory (LS/CMI) upon the offender’s release and report to the Community Corrections office. Finding in the LS/CMI will determine a referral to our Programming Intake, which further assess the offender’s needs regarding programming services. Several modules of program services are available within our office and are intended to be responsive in nature to the need. Please see Attachment 3, “Umatilla County Community Corrections Programming Flow Chart.”

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Oregon's Partnership Between Counties & the Oregon Department of Corrections

Oregon’s Governor, Ted Kulongoski established an executive order instructing a council to produce coordinated approaches to assist released inmates as they reintegrate into society. This order comes after progress made through the Oregon Department of Corrections “Transition Project” which has been active for several years and has made substantial progress towards re-entry processes. The Re-Entry Council will consist of 19 members including the Governor and other Department level heads who will focus on creating a common vision for transition and re-entry of offenders upon release, including:

• Reviewing existing policies and practices, with specific recommendations for improvement, including such as institutional case planning, institutional transition planning and preparation, information sharing, the continuum of services following release, housing and employment with specific recommendations for improvement;
• Coordinating state re-entry initiative across Oregon;
• Removing barriers that impede successful transition and reintegration; and
• Recommending changes in funding to support reformed transition process.

This statewide leadership group has the ability to collaboratively on improving the success and safety of incarceration to community transition. The council shall define state level performance goals and create a system for measuring state level performance. The council shall develop system-wide agreement on what is to be accomplished at the state level as a result of improving the prison to community transition.

The decision of the Governor to implement this council has, in some part, been driven by the work between the Oregon Department of Corrections and the Oregon Association of Community Corrections Directors. These groups have worked in collaboration to overcome internal systems problems and barriers. Following please find written material submitted by Heidi Stewart, Oregon Department of Corrections Program Manager.

In keeping with the department’s mission of “holding offenders accountable to their actions and reducing the risk of future criminal behavior,” the Oregon Department of Corrections (ODOC) embarked on a project to increase the rate of successful offender transition into the community.

A steering committee was formed and charged with providing direction for the project. The steering committee comprised ODOC employees from every division as well as members from the county community corrections offices, the Board of Parole and Post Prison Supervision, sheriffs, victims’ advocates, and other state and local agencies. Planning efforts identified key issues interfering with successful inmate reentry and components that are necessary for successful transition to occur.

One of the necessary components identified was “reach-in” by the Parole and Probation Officers (PO’s) prior to inmates releasing. Historically, the ODOC system did not allow PO’s easy access into the institution: county ID cards were not accepted; ODOC ID cards were not easy to obtain; PO’s had to be escorted at all times; and there was no sense of partnership between ODOC staff and county community corrections. PO’s simply did not want to deal with the ODOC barriers nor did they see value to the reach-in process.

Today, as a matter of practice, many Oregon counties reach-in prior to inmates releasing. This is able to occur because, in partnership, barriers to reach-in were identified and addressed. ODOC modified its Facility Access rule to allow PO’s to enter the institution by using their county ID and not requiring them to go through metal detector. Once PO’s are familiar with the institution, they may enter the institution without an escort. Although much progress has been made, there are still areas for improvement. A large issue remaining is that institutions have not consistently implemented changes. To assist in solving the issue, ODOC is modifying the Facility Access rule again in order to provide more clarity to the institutions.

Institution staff now sees PO’s as a partner in reentry and welcome reach-in. In addition, PO’s have realized the value of reach-in. One Oregon County found that abscond rates dropped approximately 14% for offenders just released from prison and reporting for the first time.

Lastly, there are other programs being developed by ODOC and the counties to improve and measure the success of offender reentry. By Intergovernmental Agreement, two counties and the ODOC have developed pilot programs that allow for coordinated transition. These counties not only allow reach-in, but provide for in-custody treatment within the local county facilities and close collaboration of case planning, assessment, and transition. The Umatilla and Klamath County program requires reach-in prior to acceptance of the offender into the program, identifies the needs and risk, moves the offender to local custody 90-120 days before sentence completion, coordinates treatment while in local custody, transitions offenders to minimum custody program center facilities 30 day prior to sentence completion, and coordinates community services prior to actual release date. These offenders are able to access programs vital to successful reentry which include, treatment, work force development, housing opportunities, and community support. All of these services are obtainable while in the custody and authority of ODOC.

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Indicators of Success

Upon further data review, Umatilla/Morrow County was unable to show a distinct correlation between the reach-in process and improved reporting to the office after leaving prison or jail. The findings prior to reach-ins (2001-2001) and recent reporting compliance (2006-2007) were essentially the same. It should be noted however, that another county in the state found vastly different data. Multnomah County, noted earlier largest county in the state, shows statistics that include a 20% no show rate for those not receiving a reach-in process and only a 1% no show rate for those receiving the reach-in. It should be noted that the non-compliance rate for no-shows in Umatilla/Morrow County was only 3% for both measured periods.

Recidivism for the post prison supervision population in 2001 was 37.5%. This was taken from the July of 2001, prior to the reach-in process. As of this writing, the recidivism rate is 23%. This reduction in recidivism cannot be attributed to the reach-in process alone, although you can reasonably assume that the reach-in process attributes to the overall increase in performance.

Treatment compliance for this population is currently at 77%. The definition for treatment compliance is “the percentage of high medium risk offenders who are currently engaged in a behavioral treatment program or who have successfully completed a program as directed by the supervising officer.”

Our office has developed a Continuous Quality Insurance (CQI) model that allows for measurement of specific, identified performance measures. The data report summary is referenced as “Attachment 5.” Included in the CQI is an audit process, which reviews compliance with the reach-in process, allowing continued monitoring that the reach-in process is occurring.

Although any additional evidence for why we believe reach-ins work and are an effective tool is anecdotal, we believe they are significant. One of these includes the establishment of a relationship with the offender and the supervising officer. During the reach-in process, the supervising officer will review all conditions of supervision and discuss what the offender might expect upon release. As they explain their general and special conditions of supervision, the supervising officer will articulate exactly what they mean in plain terms, identify common violations that occur in relation to conditions, and provide advice on how to avoid common pitfalls based on past experience. By the end of the interview, the offender is more comfortable with the conditions of supervision and has been provided the opportunity to get their questions answered, thus reducing anxiety.

The reach-in process allows for the involvement of the offenders’ families and/or their community in order to provide support to the offender upon his/her release. Inmates will often communicate with their family members /community support person about their contact with the supervising officer, and will explain to those support people the conditions of their supervision and what will be required of them with regard to treatment and reporting. On some occasions, these support people will call the supervising officer for clarification. This provides the supervising officer an excellent opportunity to explain the requirements and elicit support from these people, and also gives little opportunity for the offenders to manipulate those around them. The involvement of the family/community support helps provide those people an actual understanding of our system and approach to supervision.

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Closing Summary

The reach-in process is simple. Contacting the offender prior to release gives the supervising officer and the offender information that furthers the possibility of success during transition from custody to the community. Time is saved through a collaborated effort with the offender and the involved agencies and allows for an immediate case plan for action. The risk factors are reduced by holding the offender accountable to the responsibilities of their supervision and at the same time, reduce the fear and anxiety associated with not knowing what to expect.

The reach-in process is only a small segment of evidence based supervision techniques and the practitioner must consider the other components necessary to complete an evidence based supervision model. The reach-in process compliments identified evidence based practice approaches including motivational interviewing, risk/need assessment, treatment, and continuous quality improvement.

For further information you may contact:

Mark A. Royal, Director
Umatilla/Morrow County Community Corrections
4705 NW Pioneer Place
Pendleton, OR 97801
(514) 276-7824 ext. 229

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Umatilla County Community Corrections Organizational Flow Chart

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UCCC Reach-In Procedure

Definitions:

Transition: The process during which an inmate prepares to re-enter the community, re-enters the community, and then gets settled into some kind of a comfortable routine.

Reach-in: An important part of the transition process when the field PO makes contact with an inmate to discuss his/her upcoming release.

Process:

Purpose: ***The purpose of a Reach-in is as follows:

  1. To begin to develop a rapport/working relationship with your offender.
  2. To provide the offender with as much information as possible to make his/her transition to the community smooth.
  3. To receive pertinent information from the offender about risks and needs so that you can be prepared to help with the offender’s transition to the community.

Procedure: ***The following is a detailed description of the Reach-in process and PO duties throughout the process:

  1. UCCC receives a Release Investigation from an institution.
  2. The investigation is immediately assigned to a field PO for investigation. (Please follow the instructions on the assignment form.)
  3. Within 30 days of assignment, the PO contacts the institution and sets up an appointment to complete the reach-in. (This should be chronoed)
  4. Reach-in is completed. Please see the attached “Reach-in Risks/Needs Assessment Form” for guidance.
  5. PO e-mails the “DL Transition list” indicating that the Reach-in has been completed.
  6. PO enters a detailed chrono with an overview of each area for which the offender was assessed. The following is an outline for completing this chrono:

11/15/05 Offender Telephone SC (KEYWORD) Reach-in

Intro sentence: Contacted O by phone to complete a Reach-in. O will be released from the institution on 02/05/06 and transportation to this office will be provided by his mother. He is to report no later thanat __.

The following areas/issues were addressed:

Attitudes and beliefs List key points
A&D issues List key points
Family List key points
Education List key points
Mental Health List key points
Cell-content List key points

Note: Please document each attempt to contact the institution counselor to schedule a Reach-in. In the event that you are unable to complete the reach-in within 30 days due to an inability to contact the counselor, please document and advise your supervisor.

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Reach-in Risks/Needs Assessment

Topics to cover during a Reach-in:

  1. General and special conditions of post prison supervision (PPS). Check for understanding.
  2. Verify and clarify release plan, especially regarding residence / other residents.
  3. Parole Officer (PO) expectations as far as reporting frequency and treatment involvement. Good time to set up as many appointments for the offender as possible.
  4. If there is a detainer noted on the release plan, ask offender about it.
  5. Mini risk / needs assessment.

Questions to ask during a Reach-in

  1. What led to your current legal problems (behavioral and environmental cues for offense pattern)?
  2. Describe the situation leading up to the crime and the feelings and thoughts you have had about it since.
  3. Do you believe your sentence was fair?
  4. Programs entered while incarcerated?
  5. Programs completed while incarcerated?
  6. Name of significant other? How long together/describe relationship?
  7. Biological children and where they live?
  8. Children in home in which you’re proposing to live?
  9. Support system?
  10. Brief summary of alcohol/drug history?
  11. Describe any violence related convictions? DV related?
  12. What was the highest level of education completed? Did you get your GED?
  13. Describe employment history? Proposed employment upon release?
  14. Are you currently, or have you ever received mental health services (including counseling/therapy, meds, prior hospitalizations, etc.)?
  15. Have you ever struggled with anger, anxiety, depression, etc. in the past?
  16. Thoughts about PPS and intentions once released?

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Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do when I get a release plan on someone with an ICE detainer?
What do I do if an offender has a local control detainer (either local or out of another county)?
What do I do when I get a release plan on someone who is proposing an address in a different County or State?
What do I do if the proposed address is subsidy housing?
What do I do if, after an investigation, I need to deny a proposed residence?
When/Why do I take a file to clerical?

What do I do when I get a release plan on someone with an ICE detainer?

Important to note, based on a release plan alone we do not know whether or not the offender will be deported. We only know that the offender has an ICE hold. Each offender with an ICE hold is afforded due process in Federal Immigration Court and ultimately, he/she may not be deported for a number of reasons. The actions a P.O. should take and the information that should be communicated to the offender are as follows:

  1. All offenders released from an Oregon prison with an ICE hold will be subject to Special Condition #10, which will require the offender to immediately report to his/her supervising officer either upon release from Federal custody or upon re-entry into the United States of America. Therefore, the first thing the PO should do is verify that there is in fact a valid detainer. Next, the PO needs to contact the inmate via a Reach-in or a letter. The letter should only be used if the offender does not speak English (see attached letter in Spanish) to advise the offender of this condition.
  2. All offenders with ICE detainers are transported to either Multnomah County Jail or NORCOR. Therefore, on the prison release date, the P.O. needs to contact the appropriate agency to confirm custody status and the offender’s next immigration status hearing. The P.O. will need to continue to monitor the status of the offender until he/she is either released into the community or deported. It is also suggested that the PO request notification of release.
  3. In the event that the offender is released and fails to report within 24 hours, the PO needs to issue warrants based on the violations of General Condition #13 and Special Condition #10. If the offender is in fact deported, the PO needs to contact the ICE Department with the Alien number of the offender and request faxed confirmation of the deportation. Once that confirmation is received the file should be given to clerical so that the case can be closed to immigration status.
  4. If an EPR notification is received after a confirmed deportation, the PO should contact the appropriate Law Enforcement Agency to confirm physical contact. If Law Enforcement did have actual contact with the offender, a warrant should be generated, citing violation of General Condition #13 and Special Condition #10. The P.O. should also contact ICE, as the person may be charged with a new Federal crime of Unlawful Re-entry.

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What do I do if an offender has a local control detainer (either local or out of another county)?

If it is a Umatilla County offender and the detainer is out of another Oregon County, a PO should proceed with the reach-in. The detainer should be addressed at that time. The PO will then need to confirm the detainer and request an approximate release date. An action plan should also be faxed to the holding facility with directives for the offender to report to this office immediately upon release. If the offender does not report, a warrant will then be requested. After the PO confirms that the offender has been transported, the PO needs to print the PPS order and give it to clerical so that the file can be brought in from admit pending and the PPS order can be added. PO needs to then reclass the case to a ltd status until the offender has been released from custody.

If the investigation is a waiver to this county, the waiver should be denied and then the appropriate County can generate an IRT upon release.

If the detainer is local, the PO should complete the intake process while the offender is in custody.

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What do I do when I get a release plan on someone who is proposing an address in a different County or State?

Investigate the second option Umatilla County residence an ensure that there is a plan in place for the possibility that the primary request will be denied. If the second option is subsidy, advise The Program Center of the situation. If the second option is not acceptable, send the plan back to the counselor indicating the reasons for the denial.

The case will then need to be monitored by the investigating officer until the proposed transfer has been accepted or denied. If another County accepts the case, that County will admit the case to their location and then they will request the file. If another State accepts the case, as soon as the PO receives formal notification from compact, the file will need to go to clerical so that the case can be closed to compact. In either instance, if the case is denied, go forward with the normal investigation procedure.

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What do I do if the proposed address is subsidy housing?

Notify The Program Center of the date of release immediately. In addition, send a referral to the attention of Tim Roberts

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What do I do if, after an investigation, I need to deny a proposed residence?

Clearly lay out the reasons for the denial in an e-mail and a chrono and send the investigation electronically back to the release counselor.

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What do I do when I get a release plan on someone who will be sent directly from an Oregon prison to a federal prison or an out-of-state prison?

A reach-in is not required in either instance. However, the appropriate prison should be contacted so that the PO can request a release date and then track the case until the offender is either released or the Oregon PPS expires, whichever comes first. After the PO confirms that the offender has been transported, the PO needs to print the PPS order and give it to clerical so that the file can be brought in from admit pending, the PPS order can be added, and then the case can be placed on outcount to prison.

In the case that the offender is released and there is still Oregon PPS time remaining, clerical needs to be advised so that the case can be taken off of outcount. Should the offender fail to report, a warrant needs to be requested. If the case expires while the offender is still in federal or out-of-state custody, the PO shall print out the PPS order, fill out a closing summary, and take the file to clerical to expire the case off the system.

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When/Why do I take a file to clerical?

Clerical staff needs the file (can be pulled from the “closed to prison” drawer) and the printed PPS order the day the offender is released from the institution. They need the file so that the information on the PPS order can be entered into the system and so that the case can be admitted to the PO’s caseload.

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Health Care Safety Net Clinics

Health Care Safely Net Clinics are community-based providers who offer health services to low-income people, including insurance. Most safety net patients are OHP enrollees, the uninsured, and other vulnerable Oregonians who pay a sliding fee for primary care services. Primary care services include, but are not limited to:

  • Urgent care
  • Acute and Chronic disease treatment
  • Services based on local community need (mental health, dental, and vision)
  • Preventive care
  • Well Childcare
  • Enabling services (translation/interpretation, case management, transportation, and outreach)

Health Care Safety Net Clinics

Free eye exams for those released

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Umatilla County Programming Flow Chart

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Child Support Services in Umatilla County Provided By:

Pendleton Office
Division of Child Support
700 SE Emigrant, Suite 100
Pendleton, OR 97801-2527
Phone: (541) 276-6932
Fax: (541) 278-4062
Oregon Child Support Program

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