Safety and Sentencing News

Unfair punishment for juveniles under Oregon’s mandatory minimum sentencing laws moved to center stage Saturday when supporters of reform joined together at Pioneer Courthouse Square for what they called a "community awareness and healing event."
Partnership for Safety and Justice worked with youth groups to create Justice 4 Youth, an educational event in Portland's Pioneer Square, Saturday Sept. 13. Youth read poetry at the event, including a poem by Precious Anderson, an 18-year-old former foster child who killed herself inside CCCF.
More than 600 youths are behind bars in Oregon, and nearly half of them were sentenced as adults. On Saturday, their advocates are getting together in Portland for what they're calling a “community awareness and healing event.”
In a Street Roots article, Jennifer Williamson states, "A system built on an assumption that a one-size-fits-all approach works for everyone has clearly failed, most notably women." Clearly, there are more effective ways to spend our public safety dollars.
Infused with humor, John Oliver, from the Last Week Tonight show highlights the injustices within our prison system. The segment ends with John singing with mock Sesame Street puppets about how our "prison system is just so horribly broken".
"We would recognize that people who are harmed who do not get well are more likely to harm others. So we would invest in the healing of all those harmed –regardless of their race, class, or gender—not just for ethical reasons, but for the public safety."
In a landmark move, the United States Sentencing Commission, a bipartisan agency that sets federal sentencing policy, voted unanimously on Friday to give nearly a quarter of all federal prisoners the chance to reduce their sentences by an average of more than two years. (New York Times)
PSJ's Kerry Naughton responds to the Reynolds Highschool tragedy; "We can come together as a community. Life may look different now, but the future can be full of hope, health, and healing." (Street Roots)
The number of women in prison increased by 646 percent between 1980 and 2010, rising from 15,118 to 112,797. If we include local jails, more than 205,000 women are now incarcerated. The female prison population is increasing at nearly double the rate for men.
PSJ's Shannon Wight schools the WW on its recent one-sided and inaccurate article on youth justice. Shannon calls out the state prosecutors' offices as dinosaurs fighting extinction in the way they keep trying to "breathe life into a 'tough on crime' system that is becoming increasingly extinct."