Goals & Strategies

First and foremost, we seek measurable, progressive change to the criminal justice system and a more balanced approach to public safety. Specifically, we work to:

  1. Support safe and sensible sentencing reform that reduces Oregon's over-reliance on incarceration and shifts government spending toward more cost-effective and prevention-oriented public safety strategies, particularly strategies that help people impacted by crime rebuild their lives.
     
  2. Strengthen state and local services that provided needed support for crime survivors and victims.
     
  3. Change how Oregon treats youth as adults within the criminal justice system.
     
  4. Promote the adoption of a new, holistic public safety paradigm among advocates and system stakeholders across the country that moves beyond sides and focuses on policies best equipped to build safe and healthy communities.

To achieve these ends and create long-term, sustainable change, we believe it is essential to work with, and build the leadership and power of, those most directly affected by the criminal justice system. We also recognize that structural racism underlies and drives criminal justice policies in the U.S. and we are committed to prioritizing work that engages and serves communities of color that are disproportionately affected by both crime and over-incarceration.

We believe that a single strategy is unlikely to create and sustain the kinds of social change we are working towards. Therefore, we focus on a range of strategies that can be described as a combination of grassroots leadership development, organizing, public education, and professional advocacy. More specifically, we do the following:

  • Build coalitions and alliances with other groups and organizations who support our policy goals;
     
  • Engage in direct advocacy with policymakers and organizing campaigns;
     
  • Provide education, training, and leadership development to our members to increase their effectiveness as grassroots policy advocates and organizers; and
     
  • Produce well-researched print and electronic materials as tools to mobilize broader public support for reform and to inform and educate the public, the press, policymakers, and our members.