News and Updates

News and Updates 2017-10-10T16:07:35+00:00

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Statesman Journal

    The spike in the number of women in prisons and jails is not due to a female crime wave, Kerman said. Rather it is caused by the choice to incarcerate women for low-level drug and property offenses. According to the Partnership for Safety and Justice, about 70 percent of the more than 1,200 women inside Coffee Creek Correctional Facility are there for drug and property crimes. Kerman called the choice to incarcerate at such a high rate "profoundly irrational."

  • The Oregonian

    For safe and strong families and communities, we must build on women’s resilience, not avoid the hard work of addressing addiction by simply removing them from our sight.

  • The Statesman Journal

    "When I arrested women with their children watching, I knew I was altering their lives forever," said Piluso, a former Gresham police chief. "Many of these mothers were in domestic violence situations or struggling with addiction or mental illness." She attributed these problems to lack of treatment and sentencing laws that created lengthy, expensive prison stays for repeat offenders. The change made in 2008 to implement longer sentences was created to target big-time drug kingpins instead mostly punishes low-level addicts, she said.

  • East Oregonian

    SALEM — Several proposals in the Legislature would stave off the need to open an expensive second women’s prison in the midst of Oregon’s $1.6 billion revenue shortfall, according to initial projections.

  • KBOO

    Host Karen James interviews Julia Yoshimoto, an attorney with Oregon Justice Resource Center, about her new report, Unlocking Measure 57, which explains how the development of Oregon criminal laws over the last few decades has widened the net of defendants who receive mandatory minimum sentences for property offenses. - See more at: http://kboo.fm/media/56464-unlocking-measure-57#sthash.l2vaedAy.dpuf

  • Oregon Justice Resource Center

    It is possible to safely, economically, and more justly reduce the women’s prison population for the long term and avoid opening another prison.

  • The Statesman Journal

  • The Oregonian

    How it works: Officers -- who have grounds for arresting someone in possession of a controlled substance with no more than five grams of heroin or 10 grams of cocaine or meth - would take the person to the case manager, according to a county policy document. Officers also have the discretion to suggest the program to individuals they may know that have a high risk of regular drug possession arrests.

  • Statesman Journal

  • Street Roots

  • KATAL CENTER FOR HEALTH, EQUITY, AND JUSTICE

    Coverage and care build capacity on the outside, so health problems aren’t stuck on the inside.