2013 Legislative Session Begins!

The 2013 Legislative Session Holds Great Promise

PSJ begins the 2013 legislative session with real optimism and momentum. We are working with a large coalition of diverse and powerful voices and receiving leadership from the Governor. This could be a year when Oregon takes a giant stride forward in its approach to building safe and healthy communities.

Here is an Overview of Our Legislative Agenda:

PSJ’s policy goals for the 2013 legislative session are all proposals that increase public safety in the most cost-effective manner, so we can get the greatest return on our investment and reduce crime and recidivism. We want increased funding for services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, which will provide lifesaving support and break cycles of violence. We want fewer youth to be tried as adults, which will reduce recidivism and improve the future of our young people. We do not want people unnecessarily sent to prison when they could be safely and more cost-effectively supervised in the community. Our goal is to reduce the amount we spend on corrections and reinvest those savings to strengthen a smarter, more effective public safety system that invests in addiction and mental health treatment, victim and re-entry services, and community corrections. 
  1. Flatline Prison Growth: Oregon’s prison population is projected to increase by 2,300 beds during the next ten years at a cost of $600 million. Recommendations by the Commission on Public Safety would safely eliminate the need for those beds with modest reductions in sentences. Savings from reforms must be reinvested into other parts of the public safety system – local law enforcement and community corrections, addiction and mental health treatment, re-entry services, and victim services – to ensure the continued safety of Oregonians.
  2. Adequately Fund Victim Services: Current funding available for Oregon’s domestic and sexual violence services is less than half the amount DOJ and DHS have determined necessary to meet minimal, core emergency services to victims and children trying to escape violence at home. Since 2009, over 140 Oregonians have been killed as a result of domestic violence; in 2011, over 20,000 requests for domestic violence shelter couldn’t be met. The Oregon Domestic and Sexual Violence Services Fund needs to be increased to $8 million.
  3. Increase Judicial Discretion for Youth Tried as Adults: Comprehensive changes are needed for youth tried as adults that would insert judges back into the accountability process. These reforms are designed to increase the likelihood that youth are rehabilitated and able to become successful members of our community when they come home. 

For an Overview of Specific Policies,
Please Read Here