Are you ready to get to work? Because we have a big bill in Salem this legislative session, and we really need your help!
The 2017 Safety and Justice omnibus aims to:
- Realign drug and property crime laws. Oregon data shows no proven link between excessive drug and property crime prison sentences and crime reduction. Realigning these laws avoids additional prison costs and allows us to invest saved resources into intensive supervision and addiction and mental health treatment.
- Keep more families together by fixing a program that allows qualified parents of younger children to receive intensive supervision and services instead of prison. The program needs to be preserved and amended to include pregnant women and other updates that will increase the program’s reach.
- Expand transitional supervision and services for better outcomes. These programs are proven to reduce recidivism while also saving the state money and helping people return to their communities.
- Maintain Justice Reinvestment that originally passed with bipartisan support in 2013 to flatline prison growth and invest in local accountability and services. By the end of the 2017-2019 biennium, it is projected to have saved Oregon over $250 million in operating costs and new prison facilities.
- Invest in victim services. There’s only one source of general fund dollars that supports community-based resources and services, and the current level of funding is less than 50% of what’s needed. This funding must be preserved.
This is a big lift in the face of a $1.8 billion state deficit that’s threatening essential services, but Oregon continues to teeter on the edge of another women’s prison, so we need all public safety advocates to come together in support of our omnibus.
We know you’re serious about advocacy, and we’re excited to work with you in the coming months. We’ll be in touch shortly with next steps, and if you’d like more info in the meantime, check out the legislative one pager on our website.