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Member Group Info

Information about the member groups of the Behavioral Health/Justice System Coordination Committee can be found below.

The charge of these three legislative committees includes consideration of proposals on issues at the intersection of the behavioral health and justice systems.

Senate Committee on Human Services, Mental Health and Recovery

Senate Committee on Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110

House Committee on Behavioral Health

Governor’s Behavioral Health Advisory Council

Governor Kate Brown issued an Executive Order to convene the Behavioral Health Advisory Council with the following tasks:

  • Develop recommendations aimed at improving access to effective behavioral health services and supports for all Oregon adults and transitional-aged youth with serious mental illness or co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders. 
  • Recommend to the Governor and legislative leadership specific actions and investments necessary to improve access to behavioral health care that is responsive to people’s individual needs and characteristics and improves health outcomes. 
  • Build upon existing recommendations and not replicate previous efforts to improve the behavioral health system.
    The council completed its work in 2020. The council's report contains prioritized recommendations for further consideration and alignment by Governor’s Office, the Racial Justice Council, the Governor’s System of Care Advisory Council, and other advisory councils.

A representative from the Governor's Office continues to participate in the Behavioral Health/Justice System Leadership Coordination Committee.

The Chief Justice's Behavioral Health and Advisory Committee (BHAC) advises the Oregon Judicial Department Chief Justice on best practices for use in case and docket management, and in decision-making, in cases involving court users with behavioral health issues.  It is charged with the following:

  • Develop and help implement a best practices model for courts to efficiently, effectively, and humanely serve individuals who present with behavioral health challenges.
  • Provide direction to the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) regarding legislation in this area, such as guidance on Senate Bill (SB) 24 (2019) (regarding aid and assist) and SB 973 (2019) (regarding the Improving People's Access to Community-Based Treatment, Supports and Services Grant Review Committee).

The BHAC's vision is to develop and otherwise provide support to ensure the continued development of policies and processes that support OJD's efforts to effectively and efficiently serve court users with behavioral health issues. The BHAC works closely with the Office of the State Court Administrator (OSCA), the courts, governmental partners, and other behavioral health stakeholders to provide recommendations in support of OJD's efforts.

IMPACTS Grant Program

​“IMPACTS" stands for Improving People's Access to Community-based Treatment, Supports, and Services. The purpose of the IMPACTS Grant Program, administered by the Criminal Justice Commission,  is to address the shortage of comprehensive community supports and services for individuals with mental health or substance use disorders, leading to their involvement with the criminal justice system, hospitalizations and institutional placements, by awarding grants to counties and Oregon's federally recognized Indian tribes, to establish evidence-based and tribal-based programs to provide the needed supports and services.

Senator Floyd Prozanski formed the Workgroup to Decriminalize Mental Illness in December 2017 to advise the Senate Judiciary Committee on how to prevent people with severe mental health issues from winding up in the criminal justice system due the symptoms of their mental health disorders. The workgroup has focused on how to ensure that individuals with mental health issues get needed treatment before their symptoms lead to their arrest, and has recommended changes to statutes on civil remedies for involuntary treatment (civil commitment, assisted outpatient treatment), diversion, and community resources. The workgroup is co-chaired by Senator Prozanski and Judge Pat Wolke and has a broad membership, including legislators, judges, representatives from the Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon Health Authority, Oregon State Hospital, defense attorneys, prosecutors, disability rights advocates, civil rights advocates, peers, and others. The workgroup continues to meet every six to eight weeks.

This workgroup formed in 2020 following the acceptance of Oregon Judicial Department's application to participate in the national Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) GAINS (Gather, Assess, Integrate, Network, and Stimulate) Center's Communities of Practice on Competence to Stand Trial/Competency Restoration. Oregon was selected to receive technical assistance to develop a plan for regional behavioral health centers that provide services such as community consultations with courts, competency evaluations, crisis services, stabilization treatment, legal skills training, and coordination of social services and medical care in one place. During the first phase of this project, the workgroup produced a conceptual strategic plan informed by six statewide workgroup meetings and coordination of three pilot project workgroups in Multnomah, Douglas, and Jefferson/Crook Counties. The second phase is underway with a focus on practical planning.

This independent workgroup of behavioral health and justice system stakeholders was formed in 2016 to collaborate on amendments to Oregon’s aid and assist statutes. The workgroup is co-chaired by individuals representing all three branches of government. In 2019, the workgroup’s consensus proposal, Senate Bill 24, was adopted. The workgroup continued to meet in 2020 and proposed Senate Bill 1575 to clarify and better effectuate the intent of Senate Bill 24. The measure, as amended, was passed in the full Senate and in the House Judiciary Subcommittee, but it did not reach the House floor before session ended. In 2021, the workgroup is proposing Senate Bill 295, which reintroduces the changes in SB 1575 and offers additional consensus proposals to improve the Oregon’s aid and assist system.

SB 24 (2019)

SB 1575A (2020)

SB 295 (2021)

Psychiatric Security Review Board​

Recognizing that individuals diagnosed with a persistent mental illness have different rehabilitative needs than convicted defendants, Oregon's legislature created the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB) in 1977 to supervise those individuals who have been found to be guilty except for insanity (GEI). In 2007, the Legislature expanded the Board and its responsibilities to supervise those youth who have been found responsible except for insanity (REI). In 2013, the Legislature created a new type of civil commitment and appointed the PSRB to supervise those individuals found to be extremely dangerous persons with mental illness.

The PSRB impacts multiple disciplines across Oregon's criminal justice and mental health systems in a variety of ways. Stakeholders across these systems have raised concerns with who comes under the jurisdiction of the PSRB, how individuals are discharged from its jurisdiction, and the board's ability to track outcomes for individuals who have been discharged.

The PSRB Workgroup was formed by Senator Prozanski in 2019 to bring together experts across Oregon to assess the current system, consider system improvements, and examine the potential impact that those improvements will have on the criminal justice and mental health systems, as well as the public at large. The workgroup was tasked to develop comprehensive and coordinated legislation to address systemwide concerns. It will present its final report to the legislature in 2021.

SB 205 (2021)

SB 206 (2021)​

Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration Steering Committee​

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. The Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration is a specialized division within Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc. (GOBHI).

The OCBHJI Steering Committee is comprised of experts representing the behavioral health and criminal justice fields and has a subcommittee focused on the aid and assist system.

Forensic Evaluation Certification Program ​

The Forensic Evaluation Certification Workgroup was formed in 2020 to advise the newly created Forensic Evaluation Certification Program on changes to the Oregon Administrative Rules on Forensic Evaluator Certification. The Forensic Evaluation Certification Program is responsible for implementing the certification program and ensuring that forensic evaluators continue to meet quality standards.

OAR Chapter 309: Forensic Mental Health Evaluators and Evaluations

Forensic Mental Health Evaluators and Evaluations​

BHECN (Behavioral Health Emergency Coordination Network) is the local Multnomah County/Portland effort to plan for a crisis triage center. The initiative is supported by a broad coalition of stakeholders in the behavioral health and criminal justice systems. The vision for BHECN is to provide a 24/7 single point of access for help for people experiencing a mental health or substance abuse crisis.  

When law enforcement, emergency medical services, and other first responders attend to people in crisis, BHECN will provide an alternative to taking them to jail and gearing up the criminal justice system. BECHN will have both mental health and sobering crisis services. When a person is stabilized referrals to appropriate community resources will be made. BECHN will reduce the responsibility of the court to act as the conduit to behavioral health services for persons who end up in the court system by default when they are transported to jail because there is no easy alternative. BECHN will reduce the numbers of persons who repeatedly cycle through the court system. This deflection of low-risk high need persons from the criminal justice system to the behavioral health system will also reduce the stress on the Aid and Assist system.