County News

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  • Repair & Reuse: Student Recycle Art Calendar Awardees Announced

    Repair & Reuse: Student Recycle Art Calendar Awardees Announced

    Date: 12/12/2017 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    Fourteen students from Marion County will be honored at the Marion County Board of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, and their artwork will be published in the Student Recycle Art Calendar. In an effort to promote waste reduction and resource conservation in local schools, Marion County Public Works - Environmental Services  and Mid-Valley Garbage & Recycling Association teamed up to create this year's Student Recycle Art Calendar contest.

    Beginning in spring, students throughout Marion County began submitting illustrations that addressed this year's theme "Repair & Reuse." Students were encouraged to think of ways in which they can help repair and reuse common household or school items.

    The committee selected the winners based not only on their artistic ability, but also on the content of their message. Fourteen students in several grade categories will be awarded gift cards along with fabulous art sets. Students with winning entries will also receive certificates that will be presented to them by the board of commissioners. The 2017 art calendar award winners are:
     

    Student Name School
    Annabelle Hill Salem Academy
    Zan Saeed Schirle Elementary
    Lizzie Stravens Scotts Mills
    Hanna Cruzen Career Technical Education Center
    Brennea Atchley Wright Elementary
    Isabella Cruz Martinez Hallman Elementary
    Aniya Kindred Scotts Mills Middle School
    Kiarah Bryant French Prairie Middle School
    Jenean Randall Sprague High School
    Juliette Vold Sprague High School
    Nevaeh Meza Rojas Washington Elementary
    Inessa Garrey South Salem HS
    Alexis Reeves Howard Street Charter School
    Savannah Schaefer-Barnwell Sprague High School

     
    This year we will also recognize Sprague High School's art teacher, Connie Toland. One of her students will be awarded the grand prize and their artwork will be featured on the cover page of the calendar. We realize that teachers play a critical role in making this contest a big success and we want to also recognize their hard work.

    Calendars are free and available by visiting Marion County Public Works at 5155 Silverton Road NE, Salem, Oregon or by calling 503-566-4159, or by calling Mid-Valley Garbage & Recycling Association at 503-390-4000.

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  • County to conduct economic assessment of East Marion Rail line

    County to conduct economic assessment of East Marion Rail line

    Date: 9/21/2017 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​Since early 2012 the Silverton to Stayton portion of the East Marion Rail line has been inactive. The full line, owned by Union Pacific and operated by Willamette Valley Railway, runs from Woodburn to Stayton and historically provided short line shipping service between these Marion County communities. Since the line was closed, several groups have stepped forward with suggestions to reactivate the rail line.

    To assist with the conversation and develop a common picture for all interested parties, Marion County has contracted with Anzur Logistics, a rail transportation consulting company based in Salem, to conduct a study of the rail line including an infrastructure assessment, market analysis, and cost benefit analysis.

    Marion County Economic Development Coordinator Tom Hogue said, "Marion County's goal is to provide the underlying research and economic evaluation necessary as potential redevelopment opportunities are explored. We are not advocating for a particular outcome or project. The county's role is to provide factual, neutral information beneficial to all parties as the future of the East Marion Rail line is discussed."

    Anzur Logistics will assess current track conditions and provide cost estimates to return the line to service, as well as provide a cost benefit analysis and potential funding sources. The final study will include an economic assessment for cities along the rail line. Commissioner Kevin Cameron said, "Short line railroads are an important asset. It's important for the county to assess the economic impacts of rail service and ensure potential renewed service is utilized for the benefit of Marion County communities."

    Data collection and evaluation will begin immediately with a draft analysis expected in late 2017. The final report will be available for stakeholder review in January 2018. For more information, contact Economic Development Coordinator Tom Hogue at (503) 589-3277 or thogue@co.marion.or.us. ​

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  • County efforts bring reduced flood insurance premiums for property owners

    County efforts bring reduced flood insurance premiums for property owners

    Date: 9/28/2017 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Public Works

    ​The Board of Commissioners has approved recertification of Marion County's continued participation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Community Rating System for the upcoming year. The Class 6 rating will continue lower flood insurance premiums for property owners in unincorporated areas of Marion County and is part of the National Flood Insurance Program.

    Through the program, residents receive 20 percent premium discounts within flood hazard areas and 10 percent discounts in non-flood hazard areas. Commissioner Sam Brentano, board chair, said, "I've seen the effects of flooding on homes and families. I'm pleased we're doing all we can to minimize the impacts of flooding, as well as provide a cost savings for county residents."   

    There are many reasons homeowners should consider flood insurance. Many people are not aware that standard homeowners' policies don't cover flood damage. Federal grants and loan programs are not available after every flood event and just a few inches of floodwater in a home can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

    Last year, county residents saved more than $50,000 in premiums on $70 million in insured structures and contents. Discounts are automatic and policy holders need not do anything other than purchase insurance to receive reduced premiums. The average savings per policy is $160.

    Marion County achieved a Class 6 rating by accomplishing a number of tasks from a menu of FEMA-endorsed practices to prevent or mitigate flooding. These include construction standards like not allowing basements for new construction in flood zones, improving outreach efforts to help residents understand how to better prepare for floods, and keeping streams free of debris and pollution. Outreach efforts and management practices place Marion County among the top jurisdictions nationwide for flood insurance savings.

    For more information contact Brandon Reich at (503) 566-4175 or breich@co.marion.or.us. ​

    Read More
  • It's okay not to feel okay

    It's okay not to feel okay

    Date: 10/24/2017 12:00:00 AM
    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​By Cindy Becker, Executive Director
    Mid-Valley Behavioral Care Network 

    Mental health awareness is celebrated the first week in October and in May; however, people in our community live with mental health challenges every day.  They just don't talk about it, and often won't get help, because of the stigma and shaming that accompanies it.

    Here are some myths and facts to promote a better understanding and acceptance of mental health challenges:

    Myth: Mental health problems don't affect me.

    Fact: Mental health problems are actually very common.

    • One in five American adults experience a mental health issue

    • One in 10 young people experience a period of major depression

    • One in 25 Americans live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression

    • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It accounts for more than double the number of lives lost to homicide.

    Myth: Children don't experience mental health problems.

    Fact: Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters begin before age 24. Early mental health support can help a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs.

    Myth: People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable.

    Fact: The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.

    Myth: There is no hope for people with mental health problems. Once a friend or family member develops mental health problems, he or she will never recover.

    Fact: People with mental health problems get better and many recover completely. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.​

    You probably know someone with a mental health problem and don't even realize it, because many people with mental health problems are highly active and productive members of our communities.

    Myth: I can't do anything for a person with a mental health problem.

    Fact: Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get treatment and services they need by:

    • Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help

    • Helping them access mental health services

    • Learning and sharing the facts about mental health, especially if you hear something that isn't true

    • Treating them with respect, just as you would anyone else

    • Refusing to define them by their diagnosis or call them "crazy", "psycho", "insane", or "loony"

    • Seeing the person, not the disease

    Unfortunately, due to economic stress, there is often a higher prevalence of mental health challenges with people living in or near the poverty level.  However, if you or a family member lives in either Marion or Polk County and receive Oregon Health Plan benefits, we can help you find services.  Call (503) 361-2778 to talk to one of our Access Coordinators who will find you a provider to meet your needs.

    It's okay not to feel okay, so reach out to people in need, and if you or a family member are in need, reach out for help. ​

    Read More
 

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  • Dec
    12

    Repair & Reuse: Student Recycle Art Calendar Awardees Announced

    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    Fourteen students from Marion County will be honored at the Marion County Board of Commissioners meeting on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, and their artwork will be published in the Student Recycle Art Calendar. In an effort to promote waste reduction and resource conservation in local schools, Marion County Public Works - Environmental Services  and Mid-Valley Garbage & Recycling Association teamed up to create this year's Student Recycle Art Calendar contest.

    Beginning in spring, students throughout Marion County began submitting illustrations that addressed this year's theme "Repair & Reuse." Students were encouraged to think of ways in which they can help repair and reuse common household or school items.

    The committee selected the winners based not only on their artistic ability, but also on the content of their message. Fourteen students in several grade categories will be awarded gift cards along with fabulous art sets. Students with winning entries will also receive certificates that will be presented to them by the board of commissioners. The 2017 art calendar award winners are:
     

    Student Name School
    Annabelle Hill Salem Academy
    Zan Saeed Schirle Elementary
    Lizzie Stravens Scotts Mills
    Hanna Cruzen Career Technical Education Center
    Brennea Atchley Wright Elementary
    Isabella Cruz Martinez Hallman Elementary
    Aniya Kindred Scotts Mills Middle School
    Kiarah Bryant French Prairie Middle School
    Jenean Randall Sprague High School
    Juliette Vold Sprague High School
    Nevaeh Meza Rojas Washington Elementary
    Inessa Garrey South Salem HS
    Alexis Reeves Howard Street Charter School
    Savannah Schaefer-Barnwell Sprague High School

     
    This year we will also recognize Sprague High School's art teacher, Connie Toland. One of her students will be awarded the grand prize and their artwork will be featured on the cover page of the calendar. We realize that teachers play a critical role in making this contest a big success and we want to also recognize their hard work.

    Calendars are free and available by visiting Marion County Public Works at 5155 Silverton Road NE, Salem, Oregon or by calling 503-566-4159, or by calling Mid-Valley Garbage & Recycling Association at 503-390-4000.

    Read More
    Repair & Reuse: Student Recycle Art Calendar Awardees Announced
  • Dec
    3

    DEPUTIES RESPOND TO BUENA VISTA FERRY FOR A VEHICLE INTO THE WILLAMETTER RIVER

    Posted by: Sheriff's Office

    News Release from Marion Co. Sheriff's Office
    Posted on FlashAlert: December 3rd, 2017 8:33 PM
    Last night, December 2nd, at around 6:40 p.m.; A 23 year old male mistakenly drove his vehicle down the ramp at the Buena Vista Ferry and into the frigid Willamette River. The young man was able to immediately exit the vehicle before it became fully submerged without injury. He told Deputies that he did not see any roadway signs and thought he was simply driving down a hill. Deputies determined the driver was not impaired at the time of the incident. The man was the only occupant in the vehicle.

    The Sheriff's Office would like to remind drivers to be extremely cautious when navigating dark county roadways. These dark and rainy fall evenings can make it more difficult to see roadway signs, exits, and hazards that may be present. Please allow extra time if needed when traveling this time of year.

    NO PICTURES OF THE SCENE ARE AVAILABLE

    Also, a few tips in the event you ever have a need to escape a submerged car:

    * Suggestion #1 -- You're going to need every second to get out of your vehicle. Worry about calling for help once you've made it and are safe. Time is critical.
    * Suggestion #2 -- Unbuckle your seatbelt immediately.
    * Suggestion #3 -- Don't open the door! Roll down the windows instead. Opening the door is very difficult against the water pressure and it also allows so much water into the vehicle that it will speed up the sinking process. You'll have 30 seconds to a minute until the water rises to the bottom of the passenger windows. This is commonly referred to as the floating period. After that, the water pressure will force the window against the doorframe, making it essentially impossible to roll down.

    Caveat to Suggestion #3 -- Break that window. Since most vehicles these days have electronically controlled windows, the circuits probably will short before you have a chance to roll them down. In that case, you'll need to break the window open, ideally with a took to break windows which is always a good idea to keep in your car. Make sure you keep a tool like this within reach at all times, otherwise you may never get to it in time and they won't work underwater. Again, you will have to act quickly. There are a variety of tools you can research for purchase which uses a spring-loaded mechanism to shatter glass. If you ever practice using such a tool to break a window make sure you use the appropriate safety equipment to protect yourself from injury.
    * Suggestion #4 -- Children First. Everybody should go out their own window if possible, but the kids are going to have a harder time fighting though the rush of water, so push them out if you have to. Starting with the oldest kids and taking the youngest out in your arms.
    * Suggestion #5 -- Get out. Swim through the broken window as fast as possible. If you've not been able to get that window rolled down or broken, you'll still have a chance to escape. Once the water fills the car, the pressure will be equalized and you will be able to open the door and swim to safety.

    As always, take care and stay safe!
    Contact Info:
    Primary PIO Phone: 503. 584. MCSO (6276)
    Public Information Officer Deputy Ethan Griffith
    Cell Phone: 503.932.7575
    Email: EGriffith@co.marion.or.us
    On Twitter: @MCSOInTheKnow
    www.Facebook.com/MCSOInTheKnow
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    DEPUTIES RESPOND TO BUENA VISTA FERRY FOR A VEHICLE INTO THE WILLAMETTER RIVER
  • Dec
    1

    SEX OFFENDER NOTIFICATION

    Posted by: Sheriff's Office

    News Release from Marion Co. Sheriff's Office
    Posted on FlashAlert: December 1st, 2017 4:21 PM

    Marion County Sheriff's Office is releasing the following information pursuant to ORS 181.507, OAR 291-28-30, which authorizes Parole and Probation to inform the public when the release of information will enhance public safety and protection.

    The individual who appears on this notification has been convicted of a sex offense that requires registration with the Sheriff's Office. Additionally, this person's criminal history places them in a classification level which reflects the potential to re-offend. This notification is not intended to increase fear; rather, it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.

    NAME: William Blizzard
    SID#: 11749027
    DOB: 7/22/1977
    CURRENT AGE: 40

    RACE: W SEX: M
    HEIGHT: 6'2" WEIGHT: 190 lbs
    HAIR: BRO EYES: BLU

    RESIDENCE: 132 Horeb St. #2
    Gates, OR 97346

    William Blizzard is on Post Prison Supervision for the crimes of: SODO I, INCEST, UNLAWFUL USE OF VEHICLE AND MAIL THEFT

    This person was granted supervision on: 2/16/2012
    Supervision expiration date is: 10/10/2023

    Special restrictions include:
    [X] No contact with minors (male/female)
    [X] Sex offender treatment
    [X] Submit to polygraph

    Other: Blizzard's victim pool includes adult males and females known to him.

    Parole & Probation Deputy: MEGHAN SCHREINER
    Phone: 503-566-6936
    E-Mail: mschreiner@co.marion.or.us
    Contact Info:
    Primary PIO Phone: 503. 584. MCSO (6276)
    Public Information Officer Lt. Chris Baldridge
    Cell Phone: 503.930.0579
    Email: cbaldridge@co.marion.or.us
    On Twitter: @MCSOInTheKnow
    www.Facebook.com/MCSOInTheKnow
    Read More
    SEX OFFENDER NOTIFICATION
  • Nov
    30

    SEX OFFENDER NOTIFICATION

    Posted by: Sheriff's Office

    News Release from Marion Co. Sheriff's Office
    Posted on FlashAlert: November 30th, 2017 11:05 AM

    Marion County Sheriff's Office is releasing the following information pursuant to ORS181.507, OAR 291-28-30, which authorizes Parole and Probation to inform the public when the release of information will enhance public safety and protection.

    The individual who appears on this notification has been convicted of a sex offense that requires registration with the Sheriff's Office. Additionally, this person's criminal history places them in a classification level which reflects the potential to re-offend. This notification is not intended to increase fear; rather, it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.

    NAME: Sabre Eddings
    SID#: 5747265
    DOB: 01/04/1955
    CURRENT AGE: 062

    RACE: W SEX: M
    HEIGHT: 5' 06'' WEIGHT: 195lbs
    HAIR: BRO EYES: BLU

    RESIDENCE: 2455 Silverton Rd NE, Salem, OR 97305

    Sabre Eddings is on Post Prison Supervision for the crime (s) of : PUB INDEC

    This person was granted Supervision on: 10/14/2016
    Supervision expiration date is: 10/13/2018

    Special restrictions include:
    [X] No contact with minors (male/female)
    [X] Sex offender treatment
    [X] Submit to polygraph
    [X] No alcohol

    Other: Eddings' victim pool includes adult and juvenile males and juvenile females.

    Parole & Probation Deputy: JORDAN JUSTER
    Phone: 503-316-6692
    E-Mail: jjuster@co.marion.or.us
    Contact Info:
    Primary PIO Phone: 503. 584. MCSO (6276)
    Public Information Officer Lt. Chris Baldridge
    Cell Phone: 503.930.0579
    Email: cbaldridge@co.marion.or.us
    On Twitter: @MCSOInTheKnow
    www.Facebook.com/MCSOInTheKnow
    Read More
    SEX OFFENDER NOTIFICATION
  • Nov
    29

    Possible Cougar Sighting Near Joryville Park

    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    On November 27, 2017, Marion County Parks received a report of an unconfirmed cougar sighting near Joryville Park south of Salem. Parks staff wants to remind everyone, while cougar sightings are rare in densely populated areas, people should remain cautious and vigilant.  We recommend extra caution while using parks and trails and refrain from being alone in those areas.  Cougars are typically most active from dusk to dawn, although they sometimes travel and hunt during the day and prey on local species such as deer, rabbits, coyotes, small rodents and occasionally pets and livestock. 

    Anyone who observes a cougar is urged to call 9-1-1 to report it immediately.

    Read More
    Possible Cougar Sighting Near Joryville Park
  • Nov
    27

    BUS STRIKES HOME (NORTH EAST SALEM)

    Posted by: Sheriff's Office

    News Release from Marion Co. Sheriff's Office
    Posted on FlashAlert: November 27th, 2017 3:56 PM
    Today at 2:30 p.m., deputies with the Marion County Sheriff's Office were called to the 4700 block of Fuhrer Avenue NE after a Cherry Lift bus ran into a house. When deputies arrived they found the bus driver was the sole occupant in the vehicle, when he experienced a medical issue causing him to crash.

    The only resident inside of the home was not injured. The bus driver was taken to a local hospital to be treated, his condition is unknown. The bus has been removed from the residence and deputies have cleared the scene. The Sheriff's Office does not anticipate any further releases.
    Contact Info:
    Primary PIO Phone: 503. 584. MCSO (6276)
    Public Information Officer Lt. Chris Baldridge
    Cell Phone: 503.930.0579
    Email: cbaldridge@co.marion.or.us
    On Twitter: @MCSOInTheKnow
    www.Facebook.com/MCSOInTheKnow
    Read More
    BUS STRIKES HOME (NORTH EAST SALEM)
  • Nov
    18

    SINGLE VEHICLE CRASH KILLS TWO (WOODBURN) (PHOTO)

    Posted by: Sheriff's Office

    News Release from Marion Co. Sheriff's Office
    Posted on FlashAlert: November 18th, 2017 11:43 AM
    This morning around 9:45 a.m., deputies with the Marion County Sheriff's Office were called to the 2500 block of East Lincoln Street near Woodburn, after a resident found a badly damaged vehicle in their farm field. When deputies arrived they began to investigate and discovered two adult men deceased inside the cab of the truck.

    Deputies believe the men were traveling east on East Lincoln when they failed to negotiate a curve launching them over an estimated 80 foot embankment, causing the vehicle to roll onto its top and killing both occupants instantly. Deputies believe the crash occurred sometime over night and speed is being investigated as a factor. The Sheriff's Office does not intend to release any names associated with the crash until next of kin notification can be made.
    Contact Info:
    Primary PIO Phone: 503. 584. MCSO (6276)
    Public Information Officer Lt. Chris Baldridge
    Cell Phone: 503.930.0579
    Email: cbaldridge@co.marion.or.us
    On Twitter: @MCSOInTheKnow
    www.Facebook.com/MCSOInTheKnow
    Read More
    SINGLE VEHICLE CRASH KILLS TWO (WOODBURN) (PHOTO)
  • Oct
    31

    Justice Reinvestment supports evidence-based strategies

    Posted by: Marion County Reentry Initiative (MCRI)

    This article appears in the Winter 2017 issue of the Marion County Reentry Initiative "Giving People a Second Chance" e-newsletter. ​

    For 3,400 people on post-prison supervision and probation, Marion County will receive $3,754,893 in Justice Reinvestment Initiative funds from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission to support proven strategies that give non-violent property and drug offenders the tools to succeed.  Justice reinvestment has two primary goals: (1) To prevent those who have served a prison sentence from re-offending and going back to prison, and (2)To divert non-violent drug and property criminals from prison through community-based services and local accountability.

    Marion County's justice reinvestment strategies include the following services.

    Link Up – Mentoring and treatment services targeting high and medium risk reentry clients with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders. Link Up participants are maintaining their medications and achieving stability in the community. The program has been evaluated using the Corrections Program Checklist and was rated "very high" in adherence to evidence-based practices.

    Student Opportunity for Achieving Results (SOAR) – An intensive 12-week program conducted on the Chemeketa Community College campus, offering cognitive-based programming and enhanced supervision, parenting classes, alcohol and drug mentoring, employment support, and treatment services. SOAR graduates were 25.8% less likely to be arrested for a new offense, 12.1% less likely to be convicted of any new crimes (misdemeanor or felony), and 21.8% less likely to be convicted of a new felony.

    De Muniz Resource Center – A one-stop reentry resource center operated by Community Action Agency, the center helps reentry and diversion clients with referrals and direct services. In 2015-16 the center worked with 1,070 individuals; in 2016-17, the center served 1,474 individuals – a 38% increase over the prior year.

    Transition Services/Housing – Housing is essential for community stability. Without housing, clients cannot focus on treatment and other remediation services. These stipends address short-term, critical housing needs.

    Substance Abuse Treatment – High and medium risk clients engage in a minimum of 200-260 hours of cognitive-based services directed at enhancing motivation, addressing addiction and criminogenic risk factors, and providing the behavioral skills necessary to lead a clean and sober lifestyle.​

    Senate Bill 416 Prison Diversion Program –This program diverts non-violent medium to high risk property and drug offenders from state prison to intensive community supervision. Senate Bill 416 services have had, perhaps, the greatest impact on Marion County's improvement in meeting prison diversion targets. Of 60 clients supervised through this program, only two returned to prison and 58 remained safely in the community.

    Jail Reentry Program – A 90-day treatment and mentoring program targets inmates at the county's Transition Center. Jail Reentry graduates were 35.5% less likely to be arrested for a new offense, 36.3% less likely to be convicted of any new crimes (misdemeanor or felony), 47.9% less likely to be convicted of a new felony, and 26.5% less likely to have a new incarceration compared to the general high-risk population on post-prison supervision in Marion County.

    Adult Specialty Courts – Specialty courts, including Adult Drug Court, Veterans Treatment Court, Mental Health Court, and Fostering Attachment Treatment Court, divert offenders from incarceration in partnership with treatment providers. Program participants undergo an intense regimen of substance abuse and mental health treatment, case management, drug testing, and probation supervision while reporting to regularly scheduled status hearings before a judge.

    Victim services – The Center for Hope and Safety has enhanced its services for victims and survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking with the addition of an intake coordinator and children's advocate. Liberty House has expanded its capacity to serve children who have suffered physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect with the addition of a new evidence-based, trauma-informed mental health therapy program.​

    For more information about the Marion County Reentry Initiative, visit our ​website​. Read the 2017-2017 Justice Reinvestment application​

    Read More
    Justice Reinvestment supports evidence-based strategies
  • Oct
    24

    It's okay not to feel okay

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​By Cindy Becker, Executive Director
    Mid-Valley Behavioral Care Network 

    Mental health awareness is celebrated the first week in October and in May; however, people in our community live with mental health challenges every day.  They just don't talk about it, and often won't get help, because of the stigma and shaming that accompanies it.

    Here are some myths and facts to promote a better understanding and acceptance of mental health challenges:

    Myth: Mental health problems don't affect me.

    Fact: Mental health problems are actually very common.

    • One in five American adults experience a mental health issue

    • One in 10 young people experience a period of major depression

    • One in 25 Americans live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression

    • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It accounts for more than double the number of lives lost to homicide.

    Myth: Children don't experience mental health problems.

    Fact: Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters begin before age 24. Early mental health support can help a child before problems interfere with other developmental needs.

    Myth: People with mental health problems are violent and unpredictable.

    Fact: The vast majority of people with mental health problems are no more likely to be violent than anyone else. Most people with mental illness are not violent and only 3%-5% of violent acts can be attributed to individuals living with a serious mental illness. In fact, people with severe mental illnesses are over 10 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than the general population.

    Myth: There is no hope for people with mental health problems. Once a friend or family member develops mental health problems, he or she will never recover.

    Fact: People with mental health problems get better and many recover completely. Recovery refers to the process in which people are able to live, work, learn, and participate fully in their communities. There are more treatments, services, and community support systems than ever before, and they work.​

    You probably know someone with a mental health problem and don't even realize it, because many people with mental health problems are highly active and productive members of our communities.

    Myth: I can't do anything for a person with a mental health problem.

    Fact: Friends and family can be important influences to help someone get treatment and services they need by:

    • Reaching out and letting them know you are available to help

    • Helping them access mental health services

    • Learning and sharing the facts about mental health, especially if you hear something that isn't true

    • Treating them with respect, just as you would anyone else

    • Refusing to define them by their diagnosis or call them "crazy", "psycho", "insane", or "loony"

    • Seeing the person, not the disease

    Unfortunately, due to economic stress, there is often a higher prevalence of mental health challenges with people living in or near the poverty level.  However, if you or a family member lives in either Marion or Polk County and receive Oregon Health Plan benefits, we can help you find services.  Call (503) 361-2778 to talk to one of our Access Coordinators who will find you a provider to meet your needs.

    It's okay not to feel okay, so reach out to people in need, and if you or a family member are in need, reach out for help. ​

    Read More
    It's okay not to feel okay
  • Oct
    17

    Marion County Parks Closing For The Season

    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    ​MARION COUNTY, OR – Several seasonal Marion County parks will close to the public on Wednesday, November 1, 2017. Parks that are closing include:

    • Aumsville Ponds on Bates Road SE near Aumsville;
    • Bonesteele Park on Aumsville Hwy SE;
    • Spong's Landing on the Willamette River north of Keizer; and,
    • Minto, Niagara, North Fork, and Salmon Falls parks, which are all in the North Santiam River Basin.

    Two other county parks have already closed for the season: St. Louis Fish Ponds west of Gervais, and Bear Creek Park and Campground on North Fork Road near Mehama.

    The Marion County parks that remain open year-round are:

    • Auburn, Denny, Eola Bend, Joryville, Labish Village, and Parkdale in the Salem area;
    • Rogers Wayside near Silverton; and,
    • Packsaddle along the North Santiam River.

    For more information these county parks, including descriptions and locations, visit the Marion County Parks web site at http://www.co.marion.or.us/PW/Parks/ or call (503) 588-5036.

    Read More
    Marion County Parks Closing For The Season
  • Oct
    13

    2017-2018 Property Taxes

    Posted by: Assessor's Office

    ​Marion County tax statements were mailed this week and should arrive in property owner mailboxes within a few days. Tom Rohlfing, Marion County Assessor, certified the 2016-2017 Tax Roll on October 5, 2016.

    As of the January 1, 2017, valuation date, the aggregate Real Market Value of all property countywide increased by 8.2% from last year, to $42.2 billion.  This is almost twice the 4.25% average rate of increase since 2000.  This rapid increase in market value stems from such factors as the healthy economy, high employment rates, national interest in moving to the region, and low interest rates on mortgages.   

    Escalating values of residences and residential land located in cities and towns largely fueled the increase, jumping by $2.1 billion or 13.1%.  An increase of 12.2% in the total Real Market Value of existing, unchanged residences and land is largely responsible, with new construction and remodeling activity also as factors.

    The total value of rural property, including acreage homes, farms, and forest lands, showed more modest growth, increasing by 6.8%.  Although a more modest increase than for urban properties, this is still very strong growth in historical terms.

    Due to Measure 50 benefits, most homeowners will experience much smaller tax increases than the preceding figures suggest.  The typical unchanged home will experience only a 3% increase in assessed value no matter where located in the county.  However, changes in tax rates due to new or expiring bonds will significantly affect owners in selected communities.  The largest is a 14.4% tax increase for the average Jefferson homeowner due to a $14.35 million school bond.

    Salem homeowners will incur an increased rate on an existing Salem-Keizer School District bond, plus the tab on the new $61.8 million public safety bond approved in May, for a 5% overall increase.  Most Keizer homeowners will pay 4.2% more due to the same school bond.   Donald homeowners will find a 4% increase on their bills, due to higher rates on a City of Donald bond. Homeowners in both Silverton and Aurora will see a typical increase of approximately 1.8%.

    Commercial and industrial properties show a modest 2.8% growth in total value as compared to urban homes or rural property.  Trends vary by property type.  New industrial facilities, including fertilizer production and cold storage facilities, added significant market value. Warehouses and prime retail and office properties experienced value increases on an individual basis as cannabis production and economic growth increased demand for this type of facility.  Also contributing is a multi-year lack of new warehouse construction, although this is expected to change over the next couple of years. 

    Apartment construction added significant new value; however, existing apartments slowed their increase after several years of investment popularity.  Non-prime commercial properties continue to show weakness, especially in smaller cities and towns.

    Assessed Value countywide grew by 3.63% to $24.2 billion, standing at just 57% of total Real Market Value.  A big factor in the gap between market and assessed values is the Measure 50 limit of 3% annual growth in the Maximum Assessed Value of unchanged property.  However, over 13,400 properties receive sharply reduced assessed values and taxes due to farm or forest special assessment and more than 14,800 properties receive full or partial tax exemptions.   

    The value of Marion County property exempt from taxation increased by $180 million to just below $6.7 billion. Much of the new industrial construction qualified for exemption under Enterprise Zone provisions intended to promote job growth. Furthermore, exemptions continue to expand due to new legislation and tax court interpretations of existing statutes. For example, the offices of independent associations representing the interests of governmental entities were recently ruled by the Tax Court judge as eligible for the same exemption as most government owned property. 

    Primary beneficiaries of Marion County property taxes are public schools, Chemeketa Community College, and educational service districts receiving 43.7% of the total. Other major recipients include cities (23.8%), Marion County government (18.2%), and fire districts (6.8%).  Urban renewal districts receive about 3.1%. These percentages are similar to last year. 

    Marion County Assessor Tom Rohlfing encourages property owners to promptly review their tax statement for accuracy. This includes checking for correct ownership, mailing, and location addresses. To aid with this, the Assessor's Office provides a wide array of information on its website, including information about how each property is assessed. A new map search tool also helps to locate properties.

    Taxes are due by November 15, 2017, to receive the 3% discount and avoid interest charges.  Owners with questions, or who feel changes are needed, may contact the Assessor's Office at (503) 588-5144. Those who disagree with the Real Market Value placed on their property are encouraged to request a review prior to filing an appeal.  If the property owner still does not agree with the value once the review is completed, instructions on the back of the tax statement describe how to appeal to the local Board of Property Tax Appeals, made up of volunteers with training, experience, and knowledge of property valuation.

    For more information visit the Marion County Assessor website at www.co.marion.or.us or contact the office at (503) 588-5144 or email assessor@co.marion.or.us. ​

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    2017-2018 Property Taxes
  • Oct
    11

    Coyote tests positive for rabies after biting man

    Posted by: Health

    ​Marion County Environmental Health has confirmed that a coyote tested positive for rabies after biting a man at a Gervais area farm earlier this week.

    The man reported that the coyote walked up, sniffed him, and then bit him on the leg. The man and an acquaintance shot the coyote then sought medical treatment following the bite. Marion County Environmental Health staff members responded to the site of the incident and collected the coyote for testing at the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory. Test results received late Tuesday confirmed rabies.

    The man was treated with a rabies post-exposure prophylaxis, which consists of a series of injections, and was released.

    Coyotes are rarely found with rabies. Only three coyotes have tested positive for the disease in the past 10 years in Oregon. Marion County Environmental Health officials remind people that they should avoid feeding or approaching wild animals.

    For more information, contact the Marion County Public Health at (503) 588-5346 or visit http://www.co.marion.or.us/HLT/PH/EHS/vector/Pages/rabies.aspx. The Oregon Health Authority has additional information regarding rabies on their on-line diseases guide at https://public.health.oregon.gov/DiseasesConditions/DiseasesAZ/Pages/disease.aspx?did=41. ​

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    Coyote tests positive for rabies after biting man
  • Sep
    28

    St. Louis Fish Ponds to close for the season

    Posted by: Public Works - Environmental Services

    Marion County Parks announces that the St. Louis Fish Ponds near Gervais will close for the season on October 1, 2017.

    Hunters and fishermen are still allowed to fish, hunt, and train dogs at the park during the off-season but should be aware that they must walk in after parking their vehicles at the gate and that no restroom facilities are available.

    For more information, please call 503-588-5036, email parks@co.marion.or.us, or visit the Marion County Parks web site at http://publicworks.co.marion.or.us/parks/.

    For more information about fishing and gun use at the park, please contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 503-947-6100.

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    St. Louis Fish Ponds to close for the season
  • Sep
    28

    County efforts bring reduced flood insurance premiums for property owners

    Posted by: Public Works

    ​The Board of Commissioners has approved recertification of Marion County's continued participation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Community Rating System for the upcoming year. The Class 6 rating will continue lower flood insurance premiums for property owners in unincorporated areas of Marion County and is part of the National Flood Insurance Program.

    Through the program, residents receive 20 percent premium discounts within flood hazard areas and 10 percent discounts in non-flood hazard areas. Commissioner Sam Brentano, board chair, said, "I've seen the effects of flooding on homes and families. I'm pleased we're doing all we can to minimize the impacts of flooding, as well as provide a cost savings for county residents."   

    There are many reasons homeowners should consider flood insurance. Many people are not aware that standard homeowners' policies don't cover flood damage. Federal grants and loan programs are not available after every flood event and just a few inches of floodwater in a home can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

    Last year, county residents saved more than $50,000 in premiums on $70 million in insured structures and contents. Discounts are automatic and policy holders need not do anything other than purchase insurance to receive reduced premiums. The average savings per policy is $160.

    Marion County achieved a Class 6 rating by accomplishing a number of tasks from a menu of FEMA-endorsed practices to prevent or mitigate flooding. These include construction standards like not allowing basements for new construction in flood zones, improving outreach efforts to help residents understand how to better prepare for floods, and keeping streams free of debris and pollution. Outreach efforts and management practices place Marion County among the top jurisdictions nationwide for flood insurance savings.

    For more information contact Brandon Reich at (503) 566-4175 or breich@co.marion.or.us. ​

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    County efforts bring reduced flood insurance premiums for property owners
  • Sep
    21

    County to conduct economic assessment of East Marion Rail line

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    ​Since early 2012 the Silverton to Stayton portion of the East Marion Rail line has been inactive. The full line, owned by Union Pacific and operated by Willamette Valley Railway, runs from Woodburn to Stayton and historically provided short line shipping service between these Marion County communities. Since the line was closed, several groups have stepped forward with suggestions to reactivate the rail line.

    To assist with the conversation and develop a common picture for all interested parties, Marion County has contracted with Anzur Logistics, a rail transportation consulting company based in Salem, to conduct a study of the rail line including an infrastructure assessment, market analysis, and cost benefit analysis.

    Marion County Economic Development Coordinator Tom Hogue said, "Marion County's goal is to provide the underlying research and economic evaluation necessary as potential redevelopment opportunities are explored. We are not advocating for a particular outcome or project. The county's role is to provide factual, neutral information beneficial to all parties as the future of the East Marion Rail line is discussed."

    Anzur Logistics will assess current track conditions and provide cost estimates to return the line to service, as well as provide a cost benefit analysis and potential funding sources. The final study will include an economic assessment for cities along the rail line. Commissioner Kevin Cameron said, "Short line railroads are an important asset. It's important for the county to assess the economic impacts of rail service and ensure potential renewed service is utilized for the benefit of Marion County communities."

    Data collection and evaluation will begin immediately with a draft analysis expected in late 2017. The final report will be available for stakeholder review in January 2018. For more information, contact Economic Development Coordinator Tom Hogue at (503) 589-3277 or thogue@co.marion.or.us. ​

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    County to conduct economic assessment of East Marion Rail line
  • Sep
    19

    Disasters don't plan ahead - you can!

    Posted by: Board of Commissioners Office

    This article appears in the September 2017 Marion County TODAY Community Newsletter​

    Each year Marion County recognizes September as national Emergency Preparedness Month and practices earthquake preparedness in October during the Great Oregon Shakeout. In the Mid-Willamette Valley we've had the opportunity in the last few months to see emergency planning in action. From preparations for the historic total solar eclipse to devastating wildfires, emergency management staff and others have worked to ensure that our area is ready when/if disaster strikes.

    Following a hot, dry summer with several wildfires impacting the state and our region, we've already seen a dramatic change in weather with an early fall rainstorm. While the rain is providing needed relief for fires, it also brings its own set of potential problems. Increased rain and badly burned forested areas bring the increased possibility of flash floods.

    Whether it's an unexpected fall storm, earthquake, or preparing for a large influx of visitors, there are some simple things you can do to prepare yourself, your family, and your home.

    Make a plan: Plan on how you're going to evacuate your house if necessary; drop, cover and hold if there is an earthquake; gather supplies in case of evacuation; and plan on how you will communicate with your family.

    Get a kit: Families are encouraged to have enough emergency supplies for a minimum of two weeks. In fact, emergency preparedness professionals recommend having three emergency kits – a 72-hour go bag, a 7-day work kit, and a home kit with the suggested two weeks of supplies for each household member. Recommended kit items include water, food, medicine, first aid supplies, flashlight, radio and more.

    Stay informed: Be mindful of the hazards that could affect our area. Stay tuned to news, radio, and social media for emergency notifications from local officials. Marion County posts active alerts on our website at www.co.marion.or.us/Alerts.

    The most important thing you can do is be aware of the possibilities and don't take any unnecessary risks. Emergency preparedness doesn't have to be complicated, but it does require some thought and action on your part. For many, a 72-hour go kit is a good place to start.

    Luckily, there are a lot of resources to help you prepare. Oregon Emergency Management has information on disaster risks, an emergency kit checklist, the popular "Living on Shaky Ground" booklet, and numerous other publications you can download for free. Remember, disasters don't plan ahead – you can! ​

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    Disasters don't plan ahead - you can!
  • Sep
    15

    Dog Shelter Schedule Change

    Posted by: Community Services - Dog Services

    ​Notice:  Marion County Dog Shelter Schedule Change

    Effective Saturday, September 16, 2017, the Marion County Dog Shelter will be closed on Saturdays from noon to 1 p.m. until further notice.

    For more information about the shelter, visit the shelter website ​or call (503) 566-6966. ​

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    Dog Shelter Schedule Change
  • Aug
    9

    Legislation helps reentry clients owing child support

    Posted by: Marion County Reentry Initiative (MCRI)

    This article appears in the Summer 2017 "Giving People a Second Chance" newsletter. 

    By Jeannine Wiesner, Deputy District Attorney, Marion County Family Support Division, Concetta Schwesinger, Trial Team Leader, Marion County Family Support Division, and Janet Carlson, Marion County Commissioner

    Senate Bill 682 was passed by the legislature and becomes effective on January 1, 2018. The legislation establishes a process to suspend child support obligations while an individual is in prison and upon reentry to the community. 

    When people are released from prison back to their home communities, they often have significant debt. While we all agree that parents need to support their children and be accountable, the situation often has the opposite effect – the large amount of debt appears insurmountable, the individual starts taking cash jobs, avoiding legitimate employment. Eventually this can lead to the individual getting involved in the same activities that put them in prison in the first place. The outcome is that the person goes back to prison and the child support obligation is on paper, but is never actually paid to the family. Everyone loses.

    Senate Bill 682 creates a process where child care is suspended upon entry to prison under a rebuttable presumption of inability to pay. Under current law, if an incarcerated parent asks for a modification through the Oregon Child Support Program, they often qualify for a reduction or elimination of their child support order for the time they are incarcerated. However, for a variety of reasons, many individuals who are incarcerated do nothing or delay in making a request to modify their child support orders. The child care order that was in effect prior to incarceration continues to add up month after month. Senate Bill 682 modifies the child support order to $0, based on inability to pay, upon entry to prison.

    When a person is released from prison, current law suspends child support payments for 60 days. However, on the 61st day, even if the individual had filed a modification in prison, the obligation in the child support order that was in effect prior to incarceration is restored at the same pre-prison payment level. For example, if a parent owed $300 per month prior to incarceration, on the 61st day, he or she would again owe $300 per month, even though we know significant criminal history can negatively impact finding a job at all, let alone with the same earning capacity that the parent had prior to incarceration. In fact, the Oregon Department of Corrections research found that people released from prison generally make only 40-50% of their prior income. Senate Bill 682 changes the current law to automatically reinstate child support to 50% of the court ordered amount on the 121st day after release, and provides a timeline for the child support program to review the calculations to ensure it reflects the parent's current earning capacity. This provides a more realistic timeframe for the reentering parent to find employment and also a more realistic obligation, in case the calculations review is not completed by the 121st day. This also puts Oregon's child support program in alignment with new federal regulations.

    The process will involve a data match between the Oregon Department of Corrections and the Oregon Department of Justice. Within 30 days after the entity providing child support enforcement services is notified of an obligor's incarceration, a notice will be sent to the parties, advising that support will be suspended during incarceration unless a party objects. The objection must describe the resources of the obligor or other evidence that rebuts the presumption of inability to pay. A hearing will be set in front of an administrative law judge to determine the issue. If no objection is received, or if the administrative law judge finds that the presumption has not been rebutted, the Department of Justice will file the notice of suspension with the circuit court and discontinue billing on the case until 121 days after the parent has been released. At that time, support will be reinstated at 50% of the original amount. The entity responsible for child support enforcement services will then review the support order for purposes of further modification.

    Senate Bill 682 came out of discussions in the Joint Interim Task Force on Reentry, Employment and Housing and was introduced by Senator Michael Dembrow, task force co-chair. It was endorsed by the task force and also by the Association of Oregon Counties. The bill's final language was developed by a workgroup involving the Oregon Department of Justice, the Oregon Department of Corrections, and county child support staff from local district attorneys' offices.

    This legislation will assure that parents who are incarcerated will not reenter society owing child support debt that accrued while they were unable to pay it, which has been found to increase recidivism and reduce the chance that future support will be paid. We express appreciation to Senator Dembrow, Senator Jackie Winters who carried the bill on the Senate floor, and Kate Richardson from the Oregon Department of Justice, for their invaluable support in moving this important legislation forward.

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    Legislation helps reentry clients owing child support
  • Jun
    13

    Safe Sleep Coalition promotes safe sleep spaces for infants

    Posted by: Health

    ​The Marion and Polk Infant Safe Sleep Coalition received a $50,000 Salem Health Partner Grant to fund evidence-based practices that are proven to reduce the risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death. Each year, the Marion-Polk region experiences preventable sleep related infant deaths. Although numbers are small, this is one of the greatest tragedies that parents and caregivers experience.

    The Oregon Health Authority's 2014 report Child Fatalities in Oregon, notes that 34 of 36 Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths were sleep related. Education is a crucial foundation for this project as families either have safe sleep spaces but don't know how to use them properly, or do not have them at all.

    Infant safe sleep practices include:

    • Always place your baby "Back to Sleep."  Tell all caregivers that your baby sleeps on his/her back only.

    • Share the same bedroom during the infant's first year of life (but not the same bed).

    • Only baby goes in the crib; no toys, blankets or other items.

    • Provide tummy time while supervised.

    • A pacifier can be used once breastfeeding is established or after one month of age.

    • Keep room temperature between 65-71 degrees. Do not over-bundle your baby when sleeping.

    • Do not smoke in your house.

    • Do not leave children sleeping in a car seat or other infant seat. 

    • Do not cover car seats with a blanket or other materials.

    Grant funding has provided the coalition with the services of a part-time health educator, Hayden Barnes, who began supporting the coalition work in May. Hayden is a Salem native who graduated from Portland State University with a degree in Community Health Education. She is completing grant objectives that will ensure that the coalition has the necessary infrastructure to embed infant safe sleep messaging and support in Marion and Polk counties so the work continues regardless of future funding.   

    Ms. Barnes will be working with hospitals and agencies serving families expecting babies and parenting infants to develop a process to teach and model infant safe sleep. She will also be working to ensure that all families with infants have access to a safe sleeping environment which may include providing pack and play cribs or baby boxes to eligible families.

    Infant safe sleep will be folded in to the Marion and Polk Community Health Improvement Partnership and will be an ongoing part of the region's public health focus. The partnership is developing robust education materials so that early childhood professionals, medical professionals, parents and other caregivers have access to up-to-date evidence-based safe sleep information.

    Safe Sleep Coalition members include Marion County Health Department, Polk County Health Department, Salem Hospital, Santiam Hospital, Silverton Hospital, WVP Health Authority MOMS Program, Oregon Child Development Coalition, Marion & Polk County Early Learning Hub, Childcare Resource and Referral, Marion County Community Services, Community Action Head Start, Family Building Blocks and the Salem-Keizer Schools District Teen Parent Program.

    For more information about safe sleep practices or the Marion and Polk Infant Safe Sleep Coalition, contact the Marion County Health Department at (503) 588-5357 or email health@co.marion.or.us. ​

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    Safe Sleep Coalition promotes safe sleep spaces for infants
  • May
    3

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

    Posted by: Marion County Reentry Initiative (MCRI)

    This article appears in the Spring 2017 MCRI newsletter 

    ​Women's Accelerated Reentry Program helps women's transition needs – and reduces census at Coffee Creek

    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.

    At the Transition Center, each woman is assigned a parole officer that is well-versed in the program's rigorous curriculum. Bridgeway Recovery Services staff conducts a thorough assessment of each woman and provides ongoing individual counseling support. Participants also attend weekly meetings with their parole officers; two classes a week facilitated by the De Muniz Resource Center; weekly employment classes run by Sheriff's Office staff; and five treatment groups a week facilitated by Bridgeway—all at the Transition Center. These women have experienced a high prevalence of trauma, such as childhood abuse and domestic violence. Such difficult experiences make the counseling support they receive that much more important. 

    Participants find many benefits from counseling support and classes. "I think the classes, [parole officer] interactions, and community reintegration have helped me tremendously," said one client. "I feel ready to get back out into life and that I'll be successful in reaching my goals."

    Participants also get the chance to attend healthy leisure and recreational outings each week to help them feel connected to their community, including bowling or volunteering at the Marion-Polk Food Share. Outings are led by their parole officers as well as their Bridgeway Recovery Mentor, Morgan Nelson. "It gives the clients real life opportunities to practice pro-social behaviors," Bialas said.

    Even more importantly, these trips have opened the women's eyes to new outlooks on life. "[These outings] showed me that you don't have to be high to have fun," said another participant.

    The women also get an extra family visit. Bridgeway mentors facilitate these meetings and give women feedback after observing the visit, such as how they might communicate with their children more effectively or how they did a great job explaining how they felt about a certain situation. Mentors being involved with the participants' families help build relationships between the clients and mentor, which aids in treatment.

    "I can't say enough how much good work [the Bridgeway mentors and counselors] have done," Bialas said, adding that because of them, program participants actively engage in treatment, even if they originally had no interest.

    At the end 90 days, if participants complete the program without any behavioral issues, they receive a certificate and the opportunity to continue their substance abuse or mental health treatment with Bridgeway Recovery Services.  "We're hoping this program will be personally impactful and hope [the women] will continue in treatment," Bialas noted.

    Many women plan on doing just that. "I have found who my real self is, but I still have more exploring to do," said a participant. "Once I'm done, I'll be a brand new woman."​

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