News and Updates

News and Updates2017-10-10T16:07:35+00:00

For recent press statements, click here.

  • The New York Times

    Among the many extraordinary #metoo stories being shared amidst Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s and Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s testimonies, we offer one more that was particularly inspiring to us. In her account, author Caitlin Flanagan describes the profound impact of being sexually assaulted as a high school student, delves into how she struggled to cope, and paints an alternative picture of how personal accountability can transform healing – and not end in a lifetime of punishment. **Note that the content is descriptive and can be traumatic for some.

  • Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

    A new report finds that while juveniles housed in adult jails have dropped more than 50 percent from a recent peak of 7,600 on a single day in 2010, there are still at least 32,000 — and as many as 60,000 by some measures — youths entering adult jails each year.

  • The Oregonian

    At Partnership for Safety and Justice, one of our core beliefs is that crime victims and people who have committed crimes have a shared interest in transformation of the criminal justice system.

  • Alliance for Safety and Justice

    Alliance for Safety and Justice this week released a groundbreaking study about Michigan crime victims' experiences and views on the criminal justice system. It reaffirms what survivors across the country are saying: that the criminal justice system invests too little in rehabilitation and treatment and focuses too much on prison spending.

  • The Pew Charitable Trusts

    A wave of public safety reforms has swept the country as 70% of states have now adopted justice reinvestment policies! The laws aim to improve public safety, reduce prison spending, and invest in crime prevention strategies, but what is their impact? Since they began going into effect a decade ago, crime rates have continued to decline, and the total state imprisonment rate has dropped by 11%. Plus, 32 states have introduced or expanded data collection and 26 have introduced or improved risk/needs assessments. To see where Oregon stands among the 35 states that have enacted the policies, check out this report by the The Pew Charitable Trusts.

  • CityLab

    "Most people who become homeless have nowhere to live after being evicted, losing their jobs, or fleeing an abusive partner." Add a felony conviction to these profound challenges, and we make it even harder for people to find a home, land a job, and feel safe and secure in their community. This approach is counter-productive to public safety. In Portland, an analysis last month found that more than 50% of arrests are of homeless people, while the homeless population makes up less than 3% of the population. As the city begins its conversation about how to address this staggering disparity, here's a national snapshot of the problem.

  • The Lund Report

    At a time when a third of Oregon prisoners have mental health needs, activists and leaders are looking at alternatives to jail for intervention and treatment for serious mental illness.

  • The Oregonian

    Supporters of the new law, House Bill 3078, argued that the Legislature had already revised Measure 57 in 2009 when it temporarily suspended its start due to a budget crisis. That 2009 law did have a two-thirds majority and supporters of House Bill 3078 argued that meant lawmakers could revise it again with only a simple majority.

  • The Oregonian

    A legal showdown over a new law that reduces sentences for some property crimes unfolded in a Clackamas County courtroom Monday, with prosecutors arguing that the lower sentences are unconstitutional and undermine the will of Oregon voters.

  • CNN

    Fentanyl is a serious challenge, and as the death count climbs, the pressure is on to "do something." But that "something" should be a strategy grounded in public health, not approaches that do nothing to decrease deaths and everything to increase the prison population.

  • The Bend Bulletin

    The Deschutes County Stabilization Center would be the main hub for crisis walk-ins, the 24-hour crisis hotline — which is currently rerouted to Portland on the weekends — the mobile crisis assessment team, mental health court and the forensic diversion program that focuses on preventing those with mental illness from entering the state criminal justice system.

  • Disability Rights Oregon

    Oregon’s child incarceration rate is one of the worst in the country. Not only do we incarcerate far too many youth, we confine them in unlicensed and unregulated detention centers. There is no state or local agency charged with enforcing safe and humane conditions for youth in juvenile detention facilities. This lack of oversight and accountability has allowed Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) to neglect the basic mental health and social development needs of kids in custody.

  • The Register-Guard

    It costs $170 a day to keep an inmate in the Lane County jail — $1,190 a week. If even part of that money could be redeployed for housing, treatment and mental health services, the public savings would be enormous, and the cycle of incarceration and homelessness could be broken.

  • Statesman Journal

    What we've learned — and it's taken us a little bit of time in law enforcement — is that we can't arrest our way out of homelessness, we can't arrest our way out of mental illness and we can't arrest our way out of addiction.

  • Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

    Michigan is showing national leadership in how to help victims heal and stop the cycle of crime. Unaddressed trauma is too often an invisible epidemic,” said Lenore Anderson, President, Alliance for Safety and Justice. “Trauma recovery centers are a critical source of comprehensive support for crime survivors, addressing emotional trauma after a crime occurs.

  • Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime & Incarceration

    In recent years, conservatives, progressives, and law enforcement leaders have come to agree on the need to reform the criminal justice system so that we reduce both crime and unnecessary incarceration simultaneously. As we face new crime challenges together, we must avoid past mistakes and embrace modern, effective strategies.

  • Albany Democrat Herald

    One of the bill's proponents, Andy Ko, the executive director of the nonprofit group Partnership for Safety and Justice, argued the other side to the Tribune: "We know that addiction and mental illness are the primary contributors to many drug and property crimes." Ko said it makes more sense to invest in drug abuse treatment, mental health care and other services instead of warehousing inmates in prison cells.

  • Oregon Public Broadcasting

    The Office of Economic Analysis credits the bill for its latest projections, which show Oregon’s prison population remaining mostly flat even as the state’s overall population is expected to steadily increase. In fact, the number of women behind bars in Oregon is expected to drop by 8 percent over the next 10 years, according to the projections. “This is due to the estimated impact of House Bill 3078,” analysts wrote. “Most of the drop is realized in the property crime population as this is where components of the bill were focused.”

  • Statesman Journal

    The incarceration rate — inmates versus the state's general population — is expected to fall 11 percent. The change, according to the authors of the recently released Office of Economic Analysis' corrections population forecast, stems from the passage of House Bill 3078 in the 2017 Oregon Legislative session.

  • Portland Tribune

    Oregon's prison population is forecast to be 11 percent less than previously projected in the next decade largely due to a law passed earlier this year, according to a report by the state Office of Economic Analysis.

  • The Crime Report

    States which exercised the option to expand Medicaid eligibility under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) experienced a 3% decrease in the annual rate of reported crimes compared to non-expansive states, according to an analysis of crime data figures between 2010 and 2015.

  • Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

    [T]he prison bed forecast is dramatically lower throughout the forecast horizon due to the passage of House Bill 3078 and the incorporation of associated impact estimates into the model. ... As a result, the incarceration rate (prison beds per 1,000 population) is expected to fall 11.0 percent over the next ten years.

  • The Argus Observer

    “The real problem is that the majority of these women, seventy-percent in 2015, are being convicted of addiction-driven crimes, primarily drug and property crime offenses. Additionally, seventy-five percent of women sent to prison are mothers, which means children throughout the state are separated from their primary caregiver,” said [Adrienne] Ochs [commissioner of Oregon Commission for Women].

  • Los Angeles Daily News

    There is perhaps no greater responsibility of local government than protecting public safety. Yet, too often, public officials are quick to respond to public safety problems by questioning justice reforms, instead of completing what those reforms started: the long-overdue task of replacing the broken justice system with evidenced-based community safety solutions.

  • The Council of State Governments Justice Center

    “I will carry physical and mental reminders of what happened to me for the rest of my life, so in some ways, the sentence didn’t matter—it wasn’t going to change my reality,” Bencomo said. “It was speaking to the judge and sharing my story that was most important to me.”

  • CBS News

    "Unless something changes, we're going to have to someday sandblast 'equal justice under law' off the Supreme Court building, because for the 80% of people who are poor, we don't have anything that comes anywhere close to being equal justice under law."

  • The Oregonian

    This summer, we have seen more gang activity in our region. But we cannot police our way out of the traumatic violence that is continuing to have long-term negative impacts on our community and neighborhoods. We must make smart investments to stabilize East County and offer real opportunities for youth and gang-impacted families.

  • New York Times

    A vast majority of respondents supported increasing treatment for addiction and mental health, while they were less enthusiastic about Trump administration policies like seeking the maximum punishment for drug offenders and increasing deportations, which only 40 percent of respondents favored.

  • Greenville Online

    Research shows – and South Carolina’s experience proves – that robust community supervision for those on probation and parole, including access to needed treatment and our faith-based programming, can do more to expedite restitution to victims and lower recidivism than decades in a prison cell. And ultimately, these measures can put people back on track to employment to meet our state’s economic promises and continue us on a path to prosperity for all our residents and families.

  • Statesman Journal

    But now, counties across the country are questioning whether jacking up bail to thousands — and sometimes millions — of dollars is really the best way to keep communities safe.

  • Washington Examiner

    We need to see more of these kinds of public-private partnerships happen across the criminal justice reform landscape. We want other industries to show the same kind of willingness to invest in justice that the tech industry has shown, and to see more companies push to hire ex-offenders.

  • Fox 12 Oregon

    The program allows patrol officers to offer low-level drug offenders a path to treatment instead of a trip to jail. "It's definitely more compassionate, and hopefully, it's more effective," said Deborah Kafoury, Chair of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners.

  • East Oregonian

    Two laws passed by the Oregon Legislature reduce sentences for drug and property crimes.

  • Portland Mercury

    When a defendant is accused of a crime but potentially incapable of understanding the charges against them, Oregon judges have the ability to have an evaluation completed on the person’s mental fitness. Depending on the outcome, the judge might send the defendant to the state hospital to be treated until they’re well enough to aid and assist in their own defense.

  • The Register Guard

    The Oregon Legislature passed two new laws this month that should provide sensible restraints on the government’s power in the criminal justice system. One provides a safeguard when prosecutors charge a person with a felony, while the other begins the long overdue process of reworking our drug laws so that addicts aren’t as likely to become felons, as well as adding safeguards to deter police profiling.

  • The Daily Astorian

    “I honestly believe we are investing way too much money in our prison system, and we’re not investing in people anymore,” said state Representative Tawna Sanchez, D-Portland, one of the chief sponsors of the [Safety and Savings Act] bill approved by the Legislature to reduce theft and identity theft sentences and expand short-term transitional leave.

  • Refinery 29

    Black people and white people use drugs at similar rates, Davies says, yet Black people account for about 29% of drug use arrests and 35% of drug-use-related incarcerations. There are also more than 100,000 people deported because of drug possession each year, he says.

  • The Oregonian

    In part, the legislation puts the state in step with a common practice across the country. But one aspect of the bill takes a uniquely Oregon spin: transcripts of grand jury proceedings about police officer shootings will be recorded and made public.

  • The Oregonian

    Nearly half of the 188,736 inmates now in federal prison were convicted of drug offenses. Most are young, minority men, with Latinos and blacks making up the largest group, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Sentencing Commission released.

  • Public News Service

    House Bill 3078, known as the "Safety and Savings Act" and passed last week, would divert women convicted of certain property crimes - often driven by drug addiction - to intensive supervision programs and addiction and mental-health treatment instead of prison.

  • The Oregonian via The Washington Post

    “We are tying to move policy towards treatment rather than prison beds,” said state Sen. Jackie Winters (R), co-chair of the Public Safety Committee and a supporter of the bill. “We can’t continue on the path of building more prisons when often the underlying root cause of the crime is substance use.”

  • Statesman Journal

    "Over the past few years, the Legislature has worked very hard to improve balance and fairness in our criminal justice system," [House Speaker Tina Kotek] said. "We've been working hard to address racial and economic barriers in our legal system and here is another chance to do that."

  • The Lund Report

    The so-called “War on Drugs” has long disproportionately penalized nonwhite Americans in general, and black and American Indian families in particular. A felony on the record can mean never finding work or having stable housing, and racial minorities are several times more likely to be convicted for drug crimes, even though they are not more likely to use drugs than white people.

  • Oregon State Legislature

    Oregon will continue to pioneer smart criminal justice reform that increases community safety and prioritizes treatment and rehabilitation for non-violent offenses. House Bill 3078, the Safety and Savings Act, is a targeted approach to holding people accountable, addressing addiction and treating the root cause of addiction-driven property crime. Oregon will continue to pioneer smart criminal justice reform that increases community safety and prioritizes treatment and rehabilitation for non-violent offenses. House Bill 3078, the Safety and Savings Act, is a targeted approach to holding people accountable, addressing addiction and treating the root cause of addiction-driven property crime.

  • Statesman Journal

    The bill was designed to ease crowding at the Coffee Creek women’s prison so the state can avoid building a new prison, saving taxpayers more than $17 million, supporters say. It also allocates $8 million for treatments for addiction, domestic violence and sexual violence to get at the root causes of crime, lawmakers said.

  • The Oregonian

    Back then, we thought if we held them for a longer period of time, they would get addiction treatment and mental health services. But they didn't. Instead, people came out with felony convictions and couldn't get jobs or housing, typical barriers we see after people are involved with the criminal justice system. As one officer said, "You can get over an addiction. You can't get over a conviction."

  • Oregon Senate Democrats

    SALEM – Adult prisons aren’t the place for youth who wind up in trouble with the law, and the Oregon Senate voted today to send a bill to stop that harmful practice to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature.

  • US News

    While his felony arrests helped convince him to get clean, Player said arresting addicts repeatedly tends to overwhelm them with a sense of hopelessness. "I was already hopeless," he said. "I was like, 'What else are you going to take away from me?' "Addicts have to be given opportunities to help themselves." Now Player is going to school to become a drug and alcohol counselor.

  • Portland Tribune

    "The last thing the state can afford to do is put more and more of our hard-earned dollars into prisons instead of education and health care and the human services that will prevent people from interacting with the criminal justice system in the first place."

  • The Oregonian

    Kerman’s visit comes as lawmakers consider proposals to expand a program that diverts some offenders who are primary caregivers from prison and into an intensive community-based program and another proposal that allows judges to consider domestic violence as a factor in reducing someone’s sentence.