When an offender is released from jail or prison, they often have no place to go and easily slip back into addiction, homelessness, and re-offense. Our 90 day mentor program includes:
• Clean and sober housing with affordable rent
• A safe environment
• Employment assistance
• DHS Approved anger management classes
Data from Washington County's current mentor program indicates this approach can yield very good results: 84% of the participants had no new arrests or parole violations while in the program; 84% of the participants secured full-time employment within four months of admission to the program; and 94% of participants secured stable, long-term housing within six months of admission, or are able to fully support themselves financially in transitional housing.
The cost of re-incarcerating one individual back into Oregon's state prison is $30,828 annually. To this add the cost of their crime (theft, assault, etc.) plus that of the county's law enforcement officers, jail, corrections center, prosecutor and courts.
The annual cost of mentoring one individual in the Reentry Mentor Program currently administered by Washington County is $882
On Behalf of the Transitions Assistance Program (TAP) at Oregon State Correctional Institution (OSCI), we would like to express our gratitude and support for Bridges to Change for their consistency and dedication in helping us meet our goals. Our Program is designed to assist releasing inmates prepare for their return to society and reducing recidivism through mentoring, providing support systems, resources, and promoting pro-social behavior.
Bridges to Change and TAP Program are working together in a joint effort to mentor and provide guided curriculum to inmates who are releasing within six (6) months. Our TAP Program is lead by inmate mentors who understand the need for community support and preparation prior to release and are working to better prepare them and to reduce recidivism while giving back to the community.
Bridges to Change has been coming into OSCI and assisting us with our mentor program for several years. Led by James Demry this team has consistently made it in to the facility to meet with our group of Mentors and “Mentees” to offer resources and answer questions about the challenges they may face when released. They have also given us, as the Mentor Program, advice and information while we help inmates prepare for release.
We, The TAP Program are in full support of Bridges to Change and the mission they are working to accomplish.
Thank you to the Bridges to Change team for all of your hard work and dedication to helping us as well as being a positive contributor to the community as a whole. Your hard work and dedication is greatly appreciated and the lasting effect of what you do enriches our communities, both inside the institution and out.
Transitions Assistance Program, Mentoring Program
John Lester / Executive Director, Mentor
Justin Lester / Director, Mentor
Steve Tynan / Director, Mentor
Steve Epstien / Director, Mentor Veterans Advocate
Dave Adams / Director, Mentor Veterans Advocate
Micheal Colin / Program Advisor, Veterans Advocate
Bridges to Change in partnership with Washington County Department of Housing Services is dedicated to integrating the homeless into the workforce.
A program aimed at preparing criminal offenders to successfully re-enter the community.The treatment begins in prison and continues on an outpatient basis after release through the Volunteers of America INACT program.
The Criminal Justice Commission just completed a study of the REC program in Multnomah county. They found that there was a 54% reduction in recidivism in the treatment group in comparison to the control group. Both groups were equal in age, race, criminal history, criminal history risk score, and other measures in order to get an accurate study.
The VOA InAct program has been providing treatment services to the Multnomah County Drug Court’s STOP Program since 1992. Since then, more than 2,500 InAct STOP clients have graduated to sobriety.
Research has shown that InAct’s treatment services have effectively contributed to reduced recidivism and decreased tax payer burden. Evaluations have found that:
2010 Drug Court Evaluation Results
An independent evaluation published in December 2010 including 20 drug courts and 5,655 participants found that the STOP court is both beneficial to participants and to Oregon taxpayers. The net taxpayer savings over five years for just the clients in the study at the 20 drug court sites totals $57 million.
The Reentry Enhancement Coordination (REC) program was designed to close gaps in services provided to those transitioning from prison to the community. REC serves men and women who have severe addictions and have completed treatment during their incarceration and who will benefit from assistance in securing housing, treatment, and employment after release. The REC team is a partnership between VOA Oregon's InAct program, the Department of Corrections, the Multnomah County Department of Community Justice, SE Works and Bridges to Change
Our Anger Management class is approved and recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and SAMHSA, it is evidence based and developed for working with substance abuse and mental health clients. This professional Anger Management class draws out the strengths of the individual participants, and helps each person reach their own goals, recognize their triggers, and helps the person see where the underlying feelings come from that lead to anger. Chronic anger can be costly, both on a physical and emotional level. Most people can use their anger in appropriate ways in some situations, and be ineffectual in others. The participants in the Anger Management Classes will learn to reduce their levels of anger, especially in provocative situations, learn effective coping behaviors to stop escalation and to resolve conflicts. There are graduated homework assignments to allow participants to apply their newly acquired skills. The Anger Management Classes use a skill building format and participants are encouraged to do readings, role plays, anger logs, exercises and homework assignments between each session.
At present, we have a class in Oregon City., in Clackamas County, each Tuesday night at 6:00 PM. The fee is kept at an affordable rate for those who have difficulty with finances. The total fee for an eight week class is one hundred dollars. Fifty dollars should be paid at the first class and the remainder should be paid by week five. Clients must be able to make all eight classes.
Our philosophy is that individuals are motivated by constructive positive feedback. This class is taught by a certified counselor. All clients will be provided with a certificate of successful completion upon meeting the requirements of the program. The class is an eight week homework intensive, cognitive behavioral class. Classes can be arranged individually or for groups. We are also registering for MRT Classes and a Relapse Prevention Class beginning in October. For questions or to sign up for the class or classes. -503-465-2749
7th Step is made up of prisoners, former prisoners and non-offenders with the common goal of reducing recidivism for safer communities through mental fitness and transitional services.
Facing the truth about ourselves and the world around us, we decided we needed to change.
Realizing that there is a power from which we can gain strength, we decided to use that power.
Evaluating ourselves by taking an honest self-appraisal, we examined both our strengths and our weaknesses.
Endeavoring to help ourselves overcome our weaknesses, we enlisted the aid of that power to help us concentrate on our strengths.
Deciding that our freedom is worth more than our resentments, we are using that power to help free us from those resentments.
Observing that daily progress is necessary, we set an attainable goal towards which we can work each day.
Here's a donation we received from the 7th Step Foundation at OSP (Oregon State Prison) for 400.00. This is to help men and women getting out of prison with needed items, like bus tickets, clothes, ID cards, and drivers licenses.
We meet with prisoners due for release and help them get ready to enter the "world." We hook them up with mentors and housing options.