Sarah Radcliffe leads the organization’s efforts to uphold the civil and human rights of people with mental health conditions.
In overseeing the organization’s Mental Health Rights Project*, she relies on Disability Rights Oregon’s broad federal authority to monitor facilities that care for individuals with disabilities and access records if abuse or neglect is suspected.
In the past three years, Sarah has conducted monitoring visits at jails in: Klamath, Lincoln, Clackamas, Lane, Multnomah County and Yamhill counties, the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR), and Oregon State Hospital.
In 2017, Sarah investigated the conditions of inmates with mental health conditions held at the Multnomah County jail. Through interviews, observations and review of records, she discovered that people with mental health conditions who were held in the jail experienced significant physical and mental harm. Inmates suffered physical injuries from the use of force, received delayed medical treatment and were made to endure the devastating psychological effects of solitary confinement. Her findings were publicized in the March 2017 report “A Merry Go Round That Never Stops: Mental Illness in the Multnomah County Detention Center.”
Sarah’s career reflects her commitment to advancing social justice. Prior to her work for Disability Rights Oregon, she worked at the Oregon Law Center and Legal Aid Services of Oregon.
Since she began practicing law in Oregon in 2006, Sarah has been active in state and local bar associations. She previously served as the 2012 Chair of the Oregon State Bar Civil Rights Section Executive Committee and the 2015 Chair of the Multnomah Bar Association Professionalism Committee. Sarah currently serves as a member of the Multnomah Bar Association board of directors.
Sarah lives in North Portland with her husband, three kids and their two grandmas.
*This work is funded from Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) (42 U.S.C. § 10801, P.L. 106-310), which authorizes P&As to protect and advocate for the rights of people with mental illness and investigate reports of abuse and neglect in facilities. It is administered by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.