Radio ad campaign to set record straight on Oregon’s prison laws

jail Radio ad campaign to set record straight on Oregons prison lawsBy Truth In Sentencing Project, Press Release
LISTEN to the Radio Ad here

Lake Oswego, Or (July 19, 2012) – The Truth in Sentencing Project, a foundation dedicated to educating and informing Oregon’s citizens about the state’s criminal justice, prison systems and sentencing laws is releasing its first ad today. The ad is intended to let Oregonians know who is in prison and why they are there.

• It addresses Oregon’s low incarceration rate, 33rd out of 50 states. Nearly 2/3rds of states have higher incarceration rates. The ad also calls into question Oregon’s high cost per day to incarcerate compared to other states such as Idaho.

“There’s a lot of misinformation out there about Oregon’s sentencing laws and the criminal justice and prison systems and the Truth in Sentencing Project’s goal is to dispel those misconceptions,” said Steve Doell, Executive Director. For instance, many people believe that up to fifty percent of the prison population is incarcerated for possessing drugs.

• In some states that may be true, however in Oregon less than one-half of one percent of Oregon’s 14,000 inmates is serving time for drug possession, and those were convicted for possession of substantial quantities of illegal drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine, according to the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission (CJC).

Also according to the CJC:

• Less than 1 in 4 of all convicted felons receive prison sentences in Oregon.

• About 7 in 10 of Oregon’s inmates are in prison for violent crimes and serious sex offenses including felony assault, armed robbery, kidnapping, manslaughter, child molestation, rape, attempted murder, and murder.

• Seventeen percent are repeat property criminals, burglary, identity theft, fraud and car theft. Most of the rest are repeat drug criminals, almost all convicted of manufacturing and/or dealing substantial quantities of illegal drugs.

One of the main reasons for the high percentage of violent criminals in Oregon prisons is because the voters passed Measure 11 in 1994. “The voters were tired of the high violent crime rate in Oregon and violent criminals receiving short sentences so they put a high priority on violent crimes,” Doell stated. “And while Oregon’s violent crime rate increased nearly 700% from 1960 until 1985, then basically plateaued through 1995, the violent crime rate has decreased more than 50% since then. We believe one of the most significant reasons for this decrease is Measure 11,” Doell added.

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  • http://radicalruss.com/ RadicalRuss

    MISLEAD #1: Nobody ever said 50% of STATE prisoners are there for drug crimes. The stat is 50% of FEDERAL prisoners are there for drug crimes.

    • Johnny Pothead

      Lie #2

  • http://radicalruss.com/ RadicalRuss

    MISLEAD #2: A “substantial amount” of marijuana possession in the state of Oregon is just over an ounce, for which you can get a five year felony sentence.

    • Johnny Pothead

      I defy you to reference one Oregon case where someone caught with less than a pound of pot, who was not involved in other criminal activity, was sentenced to even ONE year in jail..

      • http://radicalruss.com/ RadicalRuss

        One day in jail is one too many.

  • http://radicalruss.com/ RadicalRuss

    MISLEAD #3: Criminal justice costs are not only for those imprisoned for marijuana or drugs. Probation officers, pee tests, rehabs, all cost Oregon taxpayers., too.

  • http://radicalruss.com/ RadicalRuss

    MISLEAD #4: Even for less than an ounce, if you’re caught within 1000′ of a school (aka “in a city”), it’s a misdemeanor and 30 days in jail.

    • Johnny Pothead

      I defy you to reference one Oregon case where someone caught with less than an ounce of pot within 1000′ of a school, who was not involved in other criminal activity, was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

      • http://radicalruss.com/ RadicalRuss

        Well, if it’s never used, why bother having it on the books as a law? While you have me at a disadvantage since I’m not intimately familiar with the details of every possession conviction and sentencing in the state of Oregon, it strikes me as odd to have a punishment on the books and never use it.

  • http://radicalruss.com/ RadicalRuss

    MISLEAD #5: Even for less than an ounce, it is an automatic six-month driver’s license suspension, even if you weren’t driving, even if you weren’t near your car.

    • Johnny Pothead

      Lie.

      • http://radicalruss.com/ RadicalRuss

        Suspension of Driving Privileges
        A conviction for possession, delivery, or cultivation of marijuana results in an automatic 6 month suspension of driving privileges, unless the court finds compelling reasons not to suspend the driving privileges.
        See:
        Oregon Rev. Stat. § 809.265 Web SearchOregon Rev. Stat. § 809.280(10) Web Search

  • http://radicalruss.com/ RadicalRuss

    MISLEAD #6: Whether it is cheaper for Oregon than other states to put people who use a plant in a cage does not make it any more moral.

    • Johnny Pothead

      It’s been a very long time since anyone in Oregon caught with less than a pound of pot spent more than a night or two in jail – unless it was a third offense, or the pot discovery was incidental to other, more serious crimes.

  • http://radicalruss.com/ RadicalRuss

    MISLEAD #7: If you’re on probation for some other crime and fail a pee test for pot, you’re back in prison, but you won’t count as there for “drug possession” but for your original crime.

    • Johnny Pothead

      That’s because you’re on probation for your original crime, twit.

      • http://radicalruss.com/ RadicalRuss

        Right, but you’re not put back in a cage for committing your original crime, you’re put in a cage for smoking a joint. Do you think that’s reason enough to fill a jail cell, again?

  • anon

    This is disgusting. Why are some conservatives pimping themselves for the big government prison-industrial complex. Shame on you all. Are these ads paid for by the public employee unions?

  • valley person

    Lock them up, throw the key away, reduce funding for education so we can create more future criminals, and cut my taxes.

    The Republican party platform.

  • deb

    Thank you, Radical Russ. I was shocked to hear this ad on Progressive Talk Radio!!

  • deb

    What’s the $$ behind “Truth in Sentencing”?

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