Oregon counties, using a fresh round of state money, are expanding efforts to keep criminals under their watchful eye instead of sending them to prison. The $10 million awarded recently is the first payoff of reforms in state sentencing approved by the 2013 Legislature via HB 3194.
In a Guest Opinion in the Oregonian, PSJ's Deputy Director Shannon Wight discusses the implementation of HB 3194 (the major justice reinvestment reform package passed in the 2013 legislative session). She asks: "Will counties build the infrastructure needed to put this funding to work?"
Oregon is featured in a new report that finds states are changing juvenile justice laws to keep young people out of adult prisons and jails. The Campaign for Youth Justice report says it's progress that juveniles in Oregon are not supposed to be detained in the same jail facilities as adults.
Oregon's prison population will dip by more than 500 inmates the next two years as sentencing changes and other reforms take hold, according to the state's latest forecast. The drop could spare millions in prison costs. (Oregonian)
In PSJ's regular Street Roots column, Cassandra Villanueva examines what might be the beginning of the end of the "tough-on-crime" crusade that has done little to make our communities safer, but has done much to drive incarceration rates and costs sky high. Is a political shift occurring?
The progress made by African-Americans is in the last 150 years is undeniable–which is why statistics about incarceration in the black community can be so shocking. In 2011 there were more African-Americans in prison or “under the watch” of the justice system than were enslaved in the US in 1850.
In this Justice Matters article, PSJ policy intern Gina Anzaldua examines HB 2549, which requires that everyone in the state who is required to register as a sex offender undergo a specialized risk assessment if they have not already done so.
In this Justice Matters article, PSJ policy intern Gina Anzaldua examines SB 463, the racial impact statement legislation passed during the 2013 legislative session. PSJ has worked for several years on the Racial Equity Report Card project.
This legislative session was transformative in the ways that crime survivors and victim advocates engaged in legislative advocacy. In addition to advocating for increased funding for the ODSVS fund, many survivors and victim advocates also testified in support of the policy changes in HB 3194.
HB 3194 will hold prison growth flat for the next five years - preventing the need to build a new prison - and will save the state over $300 million in the next ten years. It also enables roughly $55 million to be invested into local prevention-oriented approaches to public safety.