County to conduct criminal justice system assessment

Friday, October 20, 2017

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, the Benton County Board of Commissioners voted (3-0) to direct Joe Kerby, Benton County Administrator, to negotiate a criminal justice system assessment project scope and cost with CGL, a consulting firm specializing in improving criminal justice systems and public facilities.

“Our county has tried funding a new jail four times in 30 years and we’ve heard the message from our communities clearly. It’s time to try a different tack,” said Commissioner Xan Augerot. “We want to conduct a systems assessment of our criminal justice system from the first encounter to the point where someone is re-integrated into the community.

“We need a 5,000 ft. view at how our system is performing. We need to identify where the bottlenecks and inefficiencies are located and where we can make gains—all with an eye on reducing our recidivism rate and costs, if possible.”

In early 2017, Benton County posted a Justice System Master Plan Request for Qualifications. Five firms expressed interest, three firms were invited to submit proposals and two firms came on-site in September 2017 to make presentations to the proposal selection committee and meet one-on-one with the County Commissioners.

The Justice System Proposal Selection Committee is comprised of the following members:

  • Mitch Anderson, Benton County Health Department Director
  • Xan Augerot, Benton County Commissioner
  • Judge David Connell, Benton County Circuit Court
  • Judge Matthew Donahue, Benton County Circuit Court
  • John Haroldson, Benton County District Attorney
  • Scott Jackson, Benton County Sheriff
  • Joe Kerby, Benton County Administrator
  • Jon Sassaman, Corvallis Police Department Chief
  • Matt Wetherell, Benton County Juvenile Department Director

On Tuesday, October 17, 2017, members of the Selection Committee made a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners to move forward with CGL. The Benton County Board of Commissioners voted (3-0) to direct Joe Kerby, Benton County Administrator, to negotiate the project scope and cost with CGL.

CGL is an award-winning consulting firm that develops meaningful solutions for criminal justice systems and public facilities. They have provided solutions for 900+ counties and municipalities in all 50 states.

“We want to look at the criminal justice system continuum—not just what happens once you get involved in the criminal justice system, but how to keep people out of it, how to keep recidivism from happening, and how to reduce costs,” said Mitch Anderson, Benton County Health Department Director. “As we spoke with the different firms, we looked to see if they had experience with mental health treatment, educational pieces, and also how to engage the community. The selection committee certainly had very robust conversations, and I think we found a firm that can take a look at the whole criminal justice continuum.”

CGL’s proposal for Benton County’s criminal justice system takes a four phase approach including documenting current system conditions, conduct needs assessment, developing solutions and submitting a final report.

Specific project scope details including roles and responsibilities, work plan tasks, major milestones and intensive community engagement components are to be determined and identified during the upcoming negotiations.

The assessment is estimated to occur during 2018.

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Commissioner Xan Augerot
Mitch Anderson, Health Department Director
Benton County Courthouse