Psychiatric Security Review Board Conditional Release and Community Treatment Facilities
When someone commits a crime and is found by the Courts to be “guilty except for insanity,” he or she is placed under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB) or the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
Individuals found guilty except for insanity are placed under the jurisdiction of the PSRB or OHA for the maximum sentence length provided by statute for the crime. Depending on the offense, that can be for decades, or even life.
Historically, PSRB authority over an individual has lasted longer than Department of Corrections’ system authority.
While under PSRB jurisdiction, an individual can be housed in the Oregon State Hospital or in a variety of residential treatment settings, ranging from Secure Residential Treatment Facilities to independent living.
The PSRB determines what kind of facility is appropriate based on the level of treatment, care and supervision required.
Mission of the Psychiatric Review Board – Public Safety
Oregon State law is explicit that PSRB must put public safety first. ORS 161.336(10) states: “In determining whether a person should be committed to a state hospital or to a secure intensive community inpatient facility, conditional released or discharged, the board shall have as its primary concern the protection of society.”
Conditional release under PSRB authority – Proven Public Safety Record
The PSRB has been successful in carrying out its mission. In the last 15 years, only 16 people out of the more than 1650 who were placed on conditional releases have been charged with new felonies.
The cumulative recidivism rate for the last 15 years for the PSRB is 2.42 percent. By comparison, as of 2009 the recidivism rate for individuals in the Department of Corrections system was more than 20 percent after being on parole or probation for three years.
Most PSRB clients begin their treatment at the Oregon State Hospital. When clients are conditionally released they are carefully monitored by the PSRB. They are subject to immediate return to the state hospital if they violate the terms of their release order.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are people who have been found GEI ever sentenced to the Oregon State Hospital?
A: No. The GEI statute calls for individuals to be placed under the jurisdiction of the PSRB if they committed Measure 11 crimes or the Oregon Health Authority for other offenses.
Q: How is the length of time at the Oregon State Hospital established?
A: The period of time individual PSRB clients stay at OSH is based on a clinical assessment of the individual’s mental status and progress in treatment at the hospital and a risk assessment as to their dangerousness as well as the availability of the appropriate resources in the community. If it is determined that a person can be safely managed and treated in a community setting, the PSRB attempts to find an appropriate placement.
Q: Is the state trying to move PSRB clients out of the state hospital and into the community and what kind of impact will that have on public safety?
A: Because of additional funding from the Oregon Legislature since 2005, an increased number of PSRB clients have been moved into a variety of new community placements, including Secure Residential Treatment Facilities (SRTFs). Since more of these facilities have opened, there has not been any increase in the recidivism rate.
Q: Is it safe to move people who have committed violent crimes into the community?
A: State law prohibits the Board from putting anyone on Conditional Release who is determined to be presently dangerous to others. Additionally, before individuals are released, they go through a comprehensive screening process that includes four levels of review. In all cases, including person-on-person crimes, victims who want notification are contacted in advance, as is the District Attorney’s office that first prosecuted the case.
Conditional Release is not a new policy. The PSRB has supervised clients in the community on conditional release since its inception in 1978. Over the past 15 years, 1650 conditional releases have been granted to individuals who have transitioned into community placements throughout the state of Oregon. Some of these clients remain under supervision for decades or even life.
Q: Who is notified when someone is being considered for conditional release?
A: By law, the district attorney from the committing county is notified along with the judge who signed the judgment order. Also, the victim(s), if they requested such notification. The Attorney General’s office, the client’s attorney and the client’s case manager are also notified.
For more information: Juliet Follansbee, Interim Executive Director of the Psychiatric Security Review Board at (503) 229-5596.