In 2015 Benton County voters defeated a bond measure, for the third time in 15 years, to construct a new corrections facility despite the support of the law enforcement community and other public partners. Based on feedback from the public during and after the bond campaign the Board of Commissioners commissioned a study of the justice system to evaluate the full spectrum of the system from the first point of contact through adjudication.
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.
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.
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.
During internal discussions it became clear that Board of Commissioners Office staff lacked the expertise and capacity to manage a project of this scale. Project management is contracted with the Oregon Center on Behavioral Health and Justice Integration (OCBHJI), a center supported by Greater Oregon Behavioral Health, Inc.
OCBHJI helps jurisdictions implement and improve systemic and programmatic efforts that successfully divert individuals with serious behavioral health needs from entering various points within the justice system.
On January 16, 2018, the Benton County Board of Commissioners approved a $171,000 consulting contract for an in-depth assessment of the county’s criminal justice system. CGL will receive $158,843 for conducting the assessment. An additional $12,000 will go to OCBHJI to serve as project manager.