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December 30, 2011

Oregon Commission on Public Safety calling for significant sentencing reforms

As reported in this local article, a "state commission examining Oregon's justice system Thursday recommended an overhaul of the state's sentencing laws, increased spending to drive down recidivism, and improved programs to care for crime victims."  Here are more of the details:

The state Commission on Public Safety will deliver its recommendations Friday to Gov. John Kitzhaber, who appointed the commission earlier this year. The commission met by teleconference Thursday to approve its report.

"Many opportunities exist to improve how Oregon protects its residents from crime while limiting or reducing costs to government, to the public and to victims of crime," said state Chief Justice Paul DeMuniz in a cover letter to the report. DeMuniz chaired the commission....

The commission took pains not to recommend specific changes in state sentencing laws, but rather urged the governor to continue the group's work. The group proposed that it prepare a reform package for the 2013 Legislature. The group recommended state judges get more discretion at sentencing, and that more should be done to cut recidivism.

"Oregon can increase public safety at less cost by investing in the most cost effective programs targeted at offenders for the purpose of reducing recidivism, preventing future crime and victimization," the report said. The commission also recommended that some savings from less reliance on prison should be dedicated to helping crime victims.

Commission members besides DeMuniz included former Gov. Ted Kulongoski, state Sen. Jackie Winters (R-Salem), state Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene), state Rep. Andy Olson (R-Albany), state Rep. Chris Garrett (D-Lake Oswego), and Dick Withnell, a Salem business executive.

Much of the work and lots of documents related to the work of the Oregon Commission on Public Safety can be found via this effective state website.  I expect the commission's report will be posted on that site before too long.

December 30, 2011 at 10:06 AM | Permalink


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I still like "Night & Fog" for the worst of the worst.

Posted by: Docile Jim Brady | Dec 31, 2011 10:29:08 AM

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