About

The Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration — started in 2017 — is a statewide program in partnership with the Oregon Health Authority to provide specialized training and technical assistance for behavioral health and justice partners to enhance knowledge and improve practices aimed at treating people who, primarily due to symptoms of serious behavioral health conditions neurocognitive conditions, and/or intellectual/developmental disabilities, are at risk of becoming incarcerated or are already within the system. The Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration is a specialized division within Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI).

Purpose

  • The Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration helps jurisdictions across the state implement and improve systemic and programmatic efforts in treatment of individuals with serious behavioral health needs, neurocognitive conditions, and/or intellectual/developmental disabilities who come into contact with the justice system, while ensuring accountability and public safety.
  • The Center provides information, facilitation, training and technical assistance for anyone working in Oregon’s behavioral health and justice systems including interdisciplinary groups, teams, and individuals with an emphasis on working with and through Local Public Safety Coordinating Councils (LPSCC).
  • The Sequential Intercept Model (SIM) provides the organizing framework for information and activities associated with the Center.
  • The Center is committed to building strong partnerships among all components of the local justice system, local county leadership, people with lived experiences, and behavioral health service providers.

Steering Committee

The OCBHJI steering committee is comprised of experts representing the behavioral health and criminal justice fields, including:

  • Judges
  • Defense Counsel
  • Prosecutors
  • State Officials
  • Trial Court Administrators
  • County Commissioners
  • Behavioral Health Professionals
  • Disability Rights Advocates
  • Local Public Safety Coordinating Councils (LPSCC) Coordinators
  • As well as other stakeholder groups

Our Staff

Ari Basil-Wagner is the Chief Operating Officer at GOBHI and provides technical assistance for the Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration. She has an undergraduate degree in Social Work and a Master’s of Science in Planning, Public Policy, and Management, with a concentration in program evaluation, from the University of Oregon.

Her work includes assisting multidisciplinary teams with strategic planning in which she helps them define their work direction and develop plans to realize their objectives. She facilitates this work through strong abilities in analytics, change management, and team transformations.

With a background in program evaluation, her work has focused on system improvements or reform in juvenile and adult corrections, health integration, behavioral health, public health, and senior services. Her research covers the span of process evaluation, outcome designs, and fiscal models of cost avoidance research. She is a co-author on the book, “Dispatches from Juvenile Hall: Fixing a Failing System,” Penguin 2009 (under previous name, Linda Wagner). Ari has also taught classes on the relationship between behavioral health issues and juvenile justice.

She provides statewide training on Sequential Intercept Model mapping, Foundations of Trauma Informed Care, and How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice Responses.


Chris Thomas has focused on the intersection between mental health and criminal justice for 20 years. During undergraduate and graduate school, Chris co-developed and co-facilitated a group with females who were incarcerated at Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility for committing a violent crime. After graduate school, Chris worked for the Department of Corrections within a maximum security prison as a mental health specialist concentrating on a specialized caseload with individuals with serious and persistent mental health concerns, as well as crisis calls. When she moved into Release Counselor work, she carried the only specialized mental health and developmental disability caseload in the state.

After over 7 years of working with incarcerated individuals within the walls of the Oregon State Penitentiary, Chris was promoted into administration to coordinate Short-Term Transitional Leave (STTL), a statute-based justice reinvestment program designed to release eligible nonviolent offenders into early release structured post-prison supervision. Chris continued to bridge the gap between mental health and criminal justice as the Fitness to Proceed and Jail Diversion Coordinator for the Oregon Health Authority. She supported evidenced-based practice while managing specialty (treatment) court and residential substance abuse treatment grants for the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission.

Chris joined GOBHI in January 2018 as the Behavioral Health Justice Manager. Chris is a GAINS Center Trauma Informed Care Trainer. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Oregon and a Master of Science in Clinical Psychology from Pacific University. She is the host and co-producer of “The Center Collaborative: Creative Solutions in Behavioral Health and Criminal Justice” podcast.


Jo Pedro-Frye has worked in mental health since 2016 serving a vast range of clientele including children and families, severe persistent mentally ill, individuals experiencing mental health crisis, and those involved in the criminal justice system. Jo has an MS in psychology, BS in psychology, and a post graduate certification in Applied Behavior Analysis. In her time working in community mental health Jo has become a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor 1, a Mental Health Investigator, a Registered Behavior Interventionist, and a Qualified Mental Health Professional.

Jo is very community focused and puts great effort into collaborating with community partners. This has been a focus particularly when implementing her local jail diversion program as well as working on the mobile crisis team. Jo looks forward to sharing her passion for helping others throughout her work with the OCBHJI team.


Ridg Medford has been a certified police officer for over 16 years. He served his entire law enforcement career with the Ontario Police Department and holds his advanced police certification through the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST). During his time with the Police Department, he served in many roles, including school resource officer, motor officer, and detective. He has also served as the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) coordinator for Malheur County. He is a nationally Certified Crisis Intervention Specialist and a juvenile fire setter intervention specialist. Ridg has a passion for teaching and has taught crisis intervention topics at local, regional, and international levels.

Ridg is very community driven and serves or has served on a number of boards, including being the chairman of the board for the Housing Authority of Malheur and Harney Counties. Ridg is a passionate outdoorsman and is often found in the mountains with his family and friends.


Aylee Rhea is a Qualified Mental Health Professional-Child (QMHP-C) who has a diverse educational background with an MBA, BA in Psychology, and an AA in Graphic Design. Aylee has a passion for behavioral health and underserved populations. Throughout Aylee’s career, she has worked primarily in rural behavioral health settings with a diverse population ranging from youth to older adults. Aylee feels it is important to ensure that all communities have access to beneficial behavioral health and complex care services.

Aylee has worked for GOBHI since August of 2014, when she started on the Children’s Team. Aylee has also served on Systems of Care and the Older Adult Behavioral Health Team during her tenure at GOBHI. She is excited to be on the OCBHJI team as the Center of Excellence Business Partner. Aylee has extensive training in Trauma Informed Services, Collaborative Problem Solving, QPR Suicide Prevention Training, Systems of Care, and Positive Approaches to Care. Aylee lives in Gearhart, Oregon, with her four children and husband. In her spare time she enjoys the beach, camping, reading, and painting.


Henry O’Keeffe is Greater Oregon Behavioral Health Inc.’s General Counsel. Henry has held that position since June 2014. His responsibilities include providing legal advice to GOBHI’s Board of Directors and management team, overseeing GOBHI’s government and media relations, as well as providing a legal perspective on other matters on an as-needed basis.

Henry graduated in the top third of his class at Lewis and Clark Law School. While attending law school, Henry had an externship with the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington and an internship with the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, where he worked on civil rights public policy at the state level. Prior to entering law school, Henry worked as a Legislative Assistant for an Oregon State Senator and a Research Analyst for an administrative agency within the State of Oregon. Henry attended Eastern Oregon University, graduating with degrees in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and Anthropology/Sociology. Henry grew up on a fourth generation cattle ranch in south-central Oregon.