Transition Services Unit

The Transition Services Unit (TSU) provides a comprehensive system of services designed to prepare, equip, and sustain an offender upon their release from jail or prison. The TSU conducts reach-in visits of prisoners who are going to be released from state prisons back into Multnomah County. The program works on the “housing first” model and coordinates with Multnomah County and the City of Portland’s 10-year plan to end homelessness.  The program is responsible for linking recently released offenders to services including pre-release planning, case coordination, housing, transportation, and medical and benefit assistance. The TSU provides transition planning services up to 120 days prior to release from prison or jail and 90 to 180 days post-incarceration.

TSU services include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Locate and access safe and suitable housing 
  • Identify and make initial appointment for medical and/or mental health needs 
  • Medication assistance 
  • First appointment for federal/state benefits and monitor progress until benefits are received
  • Provide connections to Self Sufficiency Supports such as vocational rehabilitation services, Londer Learning Center and other employment programs.
  • Provide clothing vouchers for work clothes 
  • Case coordination and Community Services connection 
  • Offer Family and Friends Orientations

Collaboration

The Department of Community Justice coordinates the Transition Services Unit in working with a number of community, state, and federal agencies and organizations. TSU teams up with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Multnomah County Aging & Disability Services, Oregon Department of Corrections, and the Social Security Administration in its Joint Access to Benefits (JAB) Program - an effort to initiate the application for Social Security benefits before release to ensure offenders can receive federal benefits as soon as they are released from jail or prison. Transition Services Unit’s Housing Services has contracts with 6 local housing providers and provides contracted/subsidy housing for individuals transitioning from jail or prison back into the community.    

Community Linkages

TSU works extensively in providing housing support for offenders transitioning back into the community.  Each month, TSU Housing places into housing (contracted; non contracted and community partnerships) an average of 323 offenders per month using several community agencies including; Central City Concern, Cascadia, Volunteers of America, Luke Dorf Inc., City Team Ministries, Transition Projects Incorporated, Impact Northwest, Innovative Housing and more. TSU housing develops a long term housing plan for each offender placed in transitional housing.  TSU housing works closely with community partners to ensure housing placements are appropriate, coordinate services and share necessary information. 

Results

The Transition Services Unit has found that their program has corroborated research that finds that offenders who have access to supportive services and housing upon leaving incarceration are less likely to recidivate and have a greater like likelihood of employment. 

  • TSU data shows that while the overall abscond rate among high-risk offenders is 15 percent, abscond rate of offenders in TSU is three times less at 5 percent.
  • TSU data also shows 87 percent of high risk, high need offenders were able to move into stable housing, obtain employment, completes their GED and/or obtains entitlements if eligible.

TSU Programs and Special Projects

Breakfast Club

The target population receiving breakfast is adult offenders under supervision in Multnomah County who are enrolled in the Transition Services Unit Daily Solutions Program and/or referred by PPO. On average, up to 35 clients attend the Breakfast Club daily, Monday through Friday.

Families First

This initiative is designed to work with existing resources and established programs to provide additional support and services for families of the incarcerated including children, parents, grandparents and other persons of support. Families First meets every first and third Tuesday of the month. For more information, please call 503.988.4054.

Family and Friends Orientation

Housing – Case Plan Review

TSU meets every first and Third Thursday to staff the clients' housing and case plans. Prior to each housing review, a TSU staff member will contact the housing case manager notifying them which of their clients will be up for discussion including a review of the case plan. Clients will be selected by length of stay using the current client roster provided by the housing provider. In addition, PPO’s, housing case managers and TSU staff may request other clients to be reviewed as needed. Our objective is to provide an opportunity for housing providers, PPO’s’ and TSU staff to review housing and service plans for our Post Prison and Probation Clients insuring that a long term housing & services plan is prepared and implemented as deemed appropriate.