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Post-election Review Process
In July 2023, Benton County Commissioners approved a plan to gather information and analyze voter sentiments leading to the defeat of Bond Measure 2-140. The objectives of the plan include:
- understanding voter sentiment
- improving public trust
- strengthening support for future endeavors related to the Justice System Improvement Program
The use of qualitative survey data, focus group discussions, and compilations of individual comments and feedback will provide insights into the concerns, objections, and aspirations of the community. This review process will take place over an approximate three-month period from July through September 2023. A summary report will be shared with the Board of Commissioners this fall.
Facility & Program Highlights
The Justice System Improvement Program (JSIP) is a multi-year project that began with a detailed 2018 assessment. Since then, a cross-section of County staff, technical experts, and community stakeholders have met and provided input to develop a plan to provide treatment and accountability, ensure safety, and strengthen the community.
The plan involves the development of a number of new facilities as well as expanded mental health and behavioral health crisis programs and services.
Fully funded projects
- A new Benton County Crisis Center, located in downtown Corvallis, is funded through state and federal grants and is scheduled to open in summer 2024. The crisis center will be a voluntary walk-in treatment-centered facility that may be an alternative to the emergency room, which provides stabilization for individuals experiencing a mental health crisis, along with referrals and support for ongoing behavioral health services.
- A new Community Safety and Justice Campus located 1 mile north of downtown Corvallis, is in development. A new courthouse and District Attorney’s Office will be constructed on the campus with construction scheduled to begin in spring 2024. The Courthouse will be funded with a 50% matching grant and the remaining costs for these two facilities will be funded through County borrowing.
- A co-located Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Operations Center to improve coordination during major events and natural disasters, and to improve emergency response.
- A new correctional facility with increased capacity (up to 120 beds) and dedicated areas to provide mental health and addiction services.
These other projects were included in Measure 2-140 on the May 2023 ballot. The bond measure did not pass and Benton County leaders will work to assess and understand why the measure was not approved. The Board of Commissioners and County staff will begin conversations with community stakeholders to develop consensus-based approaches for reinvesting in core County facilities.