Our 2023 Legislative Agenda is here!
Oregon’s 2023 legislative session is in full swing, and we’re excited about Partnership for Safety & Justice’s legislative agenda! This year will be a busy one, with a full slate of priorities that we developed as part of the Transforming Justice Coalition, as well as a bunch of other allies’ bills that we’re supporting.
At the heart of our agenda are the values that fuel our movement: racial justice, crime survivors’ healing, and transforming our criminal justice system to invest less in punishment and more in communities.
Transforming Justice Coalition Legislative Priorities: Centering Equity in Community Safety
The Transforming Justice Coalition is a group of people who are directly impacted by the criminal justice system, culturally specific service providers, and policy advocates that came together amidst the racial justice reconning in the summer of 2020.
For 2023, the Coalition’s legislative agenda consists of three proposals that advance racial justice and community safety.
SB 581 – Earned discharge for more people who are on parole, probation, and post-prison supervision. The proposal would allow those whose crimes are eligible and who are successfully meeting their supervision goals to earn up to a 50% reduction in their sentence, regardless of when they were convicted.
Learn more at safetyandjustice.org/581 and on this Oregon Legislature’s webpage.
Invest in Victims’ Healing and Gun Violence Prevention to reduce future crime and trauma while increasing community safety across Oregon. Victims would receive hospital crisis intervention and support that can include safety planning and being connected with a range of supports, including housing, medical follow-up, and substance use disorder treatment.
Learn more at safetyandjustice.org/HHP.
HB 2650 – Equitable Workgroups for Equitable Outcomes would require task forces and workgroups to include people who are most affected by policies. At least half of workgroup and task force members will need to be from historically underserved communities and representatives of community-based organizations.
Learn more at safetyandjustice.org/2650 and on this Oregon’ Legislature’s webpage.
Other Legislative Priorities We Strongly Support
SUPPORTING CRIME VICTIMS’ HEALING.
HB 2676 – Crime Victims Compensation Reform would allow more crime survivors and their families to access healing and recover services that are currently unavailable. Proposals include eliminating the requirement that victims report a crime to law enforcement, expanding compensation for mental health services for witnesses, and removing the requirement that district attorneys are notified of crime victim compensation claims.
The Oregon Department of Justice is leading advocacy on this proposal. More information is on this Oregon Legislature’s webpage.
HB 5514 — Oregon Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Services (ODSVS) funds critical resources that Oregonians across the state need to heal and rebuild their lives. Current service levels meet less than 50% of what is needed – a tremendous gap that disproportionately affects communities of color. This funding proposal requests $10M to maintain current service levels.
DEFENDING DEMOCRACY AND HUMANITY.
Funding Public Defense would bridge the critical gap in resources for public defenders in Oregon, a gap that disproportionately includes Black and brown people. The proposal will provide low and no income people charged with crimes with well paid and trained lawyers — a critical step toward racial justice in our systems.
ACLU of Oregon, Urban League of Portland, and Fair Shot are leading advocacy on this proposal. More details on this Oregon Legislature’s webpage.
SB 579 – Guaranteeing the Right to Vote would restore voting rights to people currently incarcerated in Oregon’s prison system. Research shows that our communities are safer when people feel more connected and invested in their future. Guaranteeing the Right to Vote for those who are incarcerated will ensure that we keep people involved in their communities and make our communities safer.
Next Up Oregon and the Oregon Justice Resource Center is leading advocacy on this proposal. More details on this Oregon Legislature’s webpage.
COMMUNITY-BASED ACCOUNTABILITY AND OTHER NON-PRISON RESPONSES TO CRIME.
Restorative Justice Grant Program began as a pilot program in 2021 to broaden pathways for crime survivors to seek accountability and healing for the harm they have experienced. This year’s funding proposal will seek $4 million for the next biennium.
Justice Reinvestment Initiative is a state grant program that reduces prison use and redirects some savings toward victims’ services, mental health services, and housing. The approach has safely shortened sentences and invested millions of dollars in community-based programs, while also preventing two prisons from opening and closed two others.