Giving People a Second Chance - Spring 2017 E-News

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

MCRI logo

Spring 2017

Women's Accelerated Reentry Program helps women's transition needs

By Jenna Moller, Bridgeway Recovery Services 

By the end of 2016, Oregon was running out of options. Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville had been running at capacity for more than a year, causing behavioral issues between inmates and putting more stress on the facility than it could bear. To combat this, the Oregon Department of Corrections planned to open another prison.  The Oregon legislature encouraged the Corrections Department to find another alternative. "Incarceration on its own hasn't proven to be super successful in reducing recidivism," said Tina Bialas, Behavioral Health Director at Bridgeway Recovery Services. So the department got to work.

On January 30, 2017, the Women's Accelerated Reentry Program was launched by the Marion County Sheriff's Office and Oregon Department of Corrections. Women at Coffee Creek serve up to the last six months of their prison sentence at Marion County Transition Center in Salem. Criteria for selection include being nonviolent offenders; having a history of substance abuse, mental health problems or co-occurring disorders; being within 180 days of their original release date; and releasing to Marion County. Once individuals are identified, they are transferred from Coffee Creek to the Transition Center. This is where the real work starts. Read the full article.

Photo collage of fitness class participants
Women's Accelerated Reentry Program participants take part in an Inspire! class led by community volunteers.

De Muniz Resource Center adds staff to meet demand

Photo of Jennifer Weldon

Since opening in January 2011, the De Muniz Resource Center has seen a growing number of people come through its doors.  “Every day we are helping 40 to 50 people with everything from finding housing to searching for employment, learning parenting skills, connecting to pro-social activities, getting legal advice for civic issues, obtaining health insurance, and accessing a range of community resources,” said Center Manager April Cox.

In 2016 the Center served a record number, including a sharp increase in women.

Increasing demands for services led the Community Action Agency and the Marion County Community Corrections Division to secure funds for a second Transition Services Navigator. In April, Jennifer Weldon joined Jack Tally in offering navigator services.

Jennifer is a native Oregonian, mother of five, with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. She previously worked with the Oregon Department of Corrections and Polk County Human Services.

Community Action Agency operates the De Muniz Resource Center, delivering direct services and engaging other organizations, such as Northwest Human Services, which provides weekly sessions to help clients sign up for the Oregon Health Plan, and MaPS Credit Union, which leads financial management workshops.  For more information, contact April Cox, Transition Services Manager, at

Client chart 2011 to 2016

Marion County's 2017 public safety legislative priorities

Public Safety Coordinating Council members at meeting

Marion County’s Public Safety Coordinating and Justice Reinvestment Councils hosted a public safety briefing with legislators on February 23. The council adopted a list of legislative priorities in preparation for the briefing event spanning from support for Justice Reinvestment and baseline community corrections funding to safe transportation routes in north Marion County. 

Legislative participants included Senators Ted Ferrioli, Chuck Thomsen, and Anna Braun from Senator Peter Courtney’s Office who made the event possible in Room 350, and Representatives Jodi Hack, Teresa Alonso Leon, Rick Lewis, and Bill Post, plus staff from the offices of Senator Kim Thatcher and Representative Paul Evans.  Council members attending included Commissioner Janet Carlson, Chair, and Kevin Cameron; Cindy Becker, Behavioral Care Network; Jayne Downing, Center for Hope & Safety; Faye Fagel, Juvenile Department; Don Frederickson, Vice Chair, business representative;  Tamra Goettsch, Community Services Department; Police Chiefs Jim Ferraris, Jerry Moore, and John Teague; President Julie Huckestein, Chemeketa Community College; Diane Morse, Marion County Circuit Court Administrator; Sheriff Jason Myers; and Mike Runyon, Oregon Youth Authority. The legislative briefing document is found on the PSCC website

Volunteers teach cooking, fitness, sign language and more!

Inspire logo

The Inspire! volunteer program is off to a great start! More than a dozen clients participate in workshops led by community volunteers. These Wednesday evening events are hosted on the Chemeketa Community College campus in Salem. “Clients really look forward to it and get a lot out of the sessions,” said parole officer Kayla Thompson. 

Many thanks to volunteers who led workshops in February and March!

  • Ready, Set, Cook! - Setting up a kitchen, nutrition, and eating healthy on the cheap, presented by Billie Walters
  • Fun Fitness! – cardio, weights and stretching, presented by Janet Carlson

Upcoming workshops include:

  • Respect Yourself! - Etiquette, manners, and dress, by Billie Walters
  • Savvy Signing! - Basic American Sign Language, by Kathy DeMeyer

Interested in offering a workshop?  Contact Catherine Trottman at

Urton Family Reentry Scholarship

Chemeketa Foundation logo

Theodore and Janet Urton had a dream to support students on parole who had a sincere desire to turn around their lives through education and become worthy, law-abiding citizens. Their new scholarship supports students attending part- or full-time in any certificate or degree program at Chemeketa Community College. For more information or to learn how to create a scholarship opportunity, contact the Chemeketa Foundation at (503) 265-4747, send an e-mail or drop by their office located on the Salem Chemeketa campus at 4000 Lancaster Dr. NE, Salem, OR 97305.

Mailing address: PO Box 14007 Salem, OR 97309

Client assessments help identify housing needs

Since January 2017, ARCHES housing staff have been completing screenings for homeless individuals to determine eligibility for housing assistance. Bi-monthly screenings are conducted at the De Muniz Resource Center for Marion County Transition Center clients. ARCHES staff completes a brief survey using the Vulnerability Index-Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) to determine housing assistance eligibility. Survey results indicate acuity and help prioritize client needs for assistance.

MCRI partner news

Walk for Hope and Fun Run

On Saturday, June 10, come walk or run in support of Union Gospel Mission of Salem. The Walk for Hope & Fun Run 5K begins at 9:30 a.m. at UGM’s Men’s Mission in downtown Salem, loops around Wallace Marine Park and ends at the Riverfront Park Pavilion. To register, volunteer, or donate, visit the Walk for Hope website

Walk for Hope event logo and photo of runner

Calling all superheroes!

Superhero Dash fun run logo

On Saturday, May 13, come walk or run with other superheroes in the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency’s 6th annual Superhero Dash at Salem’s Riverfront Park.  Kids, dogs, and Superhero costumes are welcomed and highly encouraged! Prizes for top three male and female finishers in all races, and prizes for best dressed male, female, youth male, youth female, dog, and stroller.

The event features a tent party with kids' activities, live music by the RiverCity Rock Star Academy, a b2 Taphouse beer garden, food trucks and an award ceremony as well as a 10k run and 5k run and walk, and 1k Kids' Fun Run. There will also be Superhero characters from the Portland Superhero Coalition at the event. The after party will remain open until 2:00 p.m.

To sign-up or donate visit the Superhero Dash website