The Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration (OCBHJI) — 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. OCBHJI is a specialized division within Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI).
The OCBHJI helps jurisdictions across the state implement and improve systemic and programmatic efforts in treatment of individuals experiencing 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.
OCBHJI 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.
The OCBHJI steering committee is comprised of experts representing the behavioral health and criminal justice fields, including:
Trial Court Administrators
Behavioral Health Professionals
Disability Rights Advocates
Local Public Safety Coordinating Councils (LPSCC) Coordinators
As well as other stakeholder groups
Chief Operating Officer, GOBHI
Director, Operations Department
Ari is a member of GOBHI's executive team and director of the Operations Department which includes the Center on BHJI. She is skilled in organizational development, strategic planning, creating positive work cultures, project facilitation, public speaking, creative problem solving and the art of bringing hope / inspiration to the workplace. She has over 15 years of successful strategic planning, organizational development, and change management with a proven history of transformative and caring leadership. Ari is a proficient facilitator that leads organizations from "reactive" stressed environments to "proactive" and creative cultures. As a public speaker, she is an expert communicator; highly sought-after presenter on a variety of subjects including corrections transformation, health integration, leadership development, team building, trauma informed care, and more.
With an undergraduate degree in Social Work and a graduate degree in Public Policy, Planning, and Management (focus area in research), 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 able to translate complex data into palatable information while inspiring engagement and collaboration. Ari is co-author on the book, “Dispatches from Juvenile Hall: Fixing a Failing System,” Penguin 2009 (under previous name, Linda Wagner). Ari has also taught college courses on the relationship between behavioral health issues and juvenile justice.
She has provided statewide training on Sequential Intercept Model mapping, Foundations of Trauma Informed Care, and How Being Trauma-Informed Improves Criminal Justice Responses.
Michelle Brandsma, PhD (a.b.d.), MS, CADC III, MAC, QMHP
Director, Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration
Michelle has a 21-year history of working in the field of substance use disorders.
Prior to employment at GOBHI, Michelle spent 15 years working with incarcerated men as a Program Director of in-prison substance use disorder programs in both Oregon and California. Michelle began her career with corrections in 2002 by working for Deschutes County Juvenile Justice Center. She has worked closely with Parole and Probation, Drug Courts, and adult corrections.
Michelle is a level 3 Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (CADC III) with certification through MHACBO, a Master Level Counselor certified with NAADAC (MAC), Masters in Psychology (MS) and working on completing her dissertation for her PhD in addiction psychology. Her passion is to be a part of ensuring that the gap between behavioral health, law enforcement and corrections is filled with supportive services.
Behavioral Health and Justice Specialist
Ridg served as a certified police officer for over 16 years. He served his entire law enforcement career with the Ontario Police Department and held 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 mental health first aid instructor, a trauma informed care instructor, a qualified sequential intercept model mapping workshop facilitator, a certified crisis intervention team coordinator, a juvenile fire-setter intervention specialist, and a nationally certified anger management specialist. Ridg is passionate about teaching and has taught crisis intervention and officer wellness topics at local, regional, and international levels. He is an acting board member of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) International, serving as 1st Vice President. He also serves on the national advisory board for the Virginia Center for Policing Innovation (VCPI) CIT ASSIST program.
Ridg is very community driven and serves or has served on several boards, including being the chairperson of the board for the Housing Authority of Malheur and Harney Counties. Ridg is a passionate outdoorsman and can often be found in the mountains with his family and friends.
Behavioral Health and Justice Specialist
Kim has been working in the Substance Use Disorder treatment field since 2006, primarily working with individuals involved in specialty court programs. Kim has worked in community mental health programs and at community corrections.
Kim has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Eastern Oregon University and is also a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor II. Kim has extensive group facilitation experience, and is trained and/or certified in Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT), Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing, and also in trauma-informed approaches to women’s treatment.
During the 15 years Kim was involved with the Union County Treatment Court team, she established many long-term collaborative relationships with community partners. Kim has also recently joined the Union County Behavioral Health team in her official OCBHJI capacity. Kim prioritizes collaboration within communities, in order to provide the most effective interventions for individuals facing challenging circumstances. Kim is excited to join the OCBHJI team to be able to work collaboratively with other counties throughout the state.
In her spare time, Kim enjoys appreciating the natural beauty of Eastern Oregon by camping, hiking, and swimming with her family.
Behavioral Health and Justice Specialist
Megan is certified as a Qualified Mental Health Associate and has been working within acute Behavioral Health since 2016. She started at St. Charles Hospital in the Emergency Psychiatric Unit as well as Sage View Psychiatric Center. She then transitioned to Deschutes County Stabilization Center where she has spent her time providing case management, intervention planning and assessments. Megan is a part of the new Community Crisis Response team for Deschutes County. She works with emergency first responders and community partners to assess individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis. In her spare time Megan likes to spend time with her family and be active within her community. Megan looks forward to integrating her knowledge into working with OCBHJI.
Behavioral Health & Justice Coordinator
Madi works as The Center’s coordinator, helping to support the specialists with the work they do for the state of Oregon. Madi has experience in behavioral health and supporting multiple non-profit organizations which helps her to support The Center’s mission and goals.
She enjoys supporting whatever community she is a part of and offers her skills where she can. Madi enjoys spending time with her family and friends and in her spare time she enjoys creating polymer clay earrings, paintings, and performing her music at local open mic nights.