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PRESS RELEASE: Olympia community safety program honored for outstanding work with mentally ill offenders

Released June 12, 2015

Contact Jeremy Barclay , (360) 515-6661

DOC Communications

OLYMPIA — At a celebration to honor those who strive to rise from the ashes of mental illness and substance abuse, the Department of Corrections’ Olympia–based Offender Reentry and Community Safety Program (ORCSP) was presented the Phoenix Award by the Behavioral Health Resources Foundation (BHR).

DOC’s ORCS programs aim to increase public safety by focusing on offenders who have serious mental disorders and are reasonably believed to be dangerous to themselves or others. Staff in the ORCSP help connect releasing offenders to treatment, stable housing, and other services during their transition back to the community and throughout their supervision.

BHR, South Puget Sound’s largest comprehensive provider of mental health and chemical dependency treatment services, recognized the contributions of the ORCSP team toward helping offenders with mental illness connect with services and maintain supervision compliance. The Thurston County ORCSP team was nominated specifically for its work with two offenders who had not been successful at reporting for supervision in the past.

“Many people would have written them (the offenders) off as a lost cause,” said BHR Program Manager Jenise Gogan, “and every member of the ORCSP team worked hard to engage these clients.”

During the awards ceremony, Gogan thanked the work of the team, acknowledged their collaboration with BHR, and reported that one of the offenders has completed supervision and the other is enrolled in mental health support services and actively complying with supervision.