Safety and Sentencing News

The Multnomah Co DA's office announced that it would dismiss 50 pending cases involving violation-level marijuana possession in light of Measure 91's statewide passage last week. The cases involve charges that will be legal when the new law becomes effective for possession and cultivation in July.
California approved a major shift against mass incarceration on Tuesday in a vote that could lead to the release of thousands of state prisoners. Nonviolent felonies like shoplifting and drug possession will be downgraded to misdemeanors under the ballot measure.
Speaking at a conference held by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, AG Holder said the trend underlines the “holistic approach” he favors to reducing mass incarceration, which includes strategies ranging from community policing to rethinking sentencing.
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)