The Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration helps jurisdictions across the state implement and improve efforts in engaging and treating individuals who, primarily due to symptoms of behavioral health conditions, are at risk of becoming incarcerated or are currently in the system, while collaborating with agencies to support public safety.

Basic Facts:

  • Almost 50% of individuals incarcerated in local jails are in need of mental health services and an estimated 60% have a substance use disorder. Many inmates have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2017).
  • Significant advancements in the treatment of behavioral health conditions have been developed and implemented successfully over the past 25 years.
  • Individuals with serious behavioral health challenges are significantly more likely to be the victims of crime than individuals within the general public.
  • Evidence-based practices associated with treatment and systems approaches can significantly reduce incarceration for individuals with behavioral health needs by providing appropriate services in the community to treat the behaviors that are bringing them to the attention of law enforcement.

Goals of the Center:

  • Increase skills and competencies among criminal justice and behavioral health system partners in treatment of individuals with serious behavioral health challenges, pre and post arrest.
  • Enhance knowledge among partners about effective community-based programs and services that improve the early identification of people with co-occurring disorders who come into contact with the criminal justice system.
  • Strengthen service linkage and engagement in treatment to improve quality of life, reduce the likelihood of people committing another crime, and promote community safety.
  • Assess statewide implementation of program progress and use information to prioritize the focus of this work.

OHA fights stigma, celebrates recovery

Oregon Health Authority released a video featuring stories of two Oregonians living with mental illness to raise awareness, fight stigma and encourage struggling individuals to seek help.