Media questions Kitzhaber’s criminal release plan


 HJR 14: Raising taxes with fewer votes?
Author: Christiana Mayer
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

The Willamette Week has written a superb article about Oregon’s effective prison system and questioning why Governor Kitzhaber would advocate changing it by reduce sentencing (by release criminals early) in order to raise revenue.

Willamette Week featured this chart showing that Oregon’s incarceration rate is low which is contrary to the political hype. With Oregon’s Measure 11’s mandatory minimum sentences law we incarcerates felons around three-quarters of the national average, as it had in 1990. It begs the question — why let out criminals out early?  Governor Kitzhaber submitted a reform plan to the state legislature which was drafted by the Commission on Public Safety which would change how sentences are carried out. For example mandatory minimum sentences would end for second-degree robbery, second-degree assault and first-degree sex abuse. He claims that Oregon could save 60 million a year over the next ten years if this plan is adopted.

The Commission on Public Safety’s members are appointed by Governor Kitzhaber. In 2011 Governor Kitzhaber did not appoint any police officers or prosecutors. In 2012 the committee was changed and Governor Kitzhaber, Paul De Muniz, the chair of the commission, and legislative leaders invited Pew Research to provide assistance to the Commission. Pew Research is based in Washington DC and has been working on the Public Safety Performance Project since 2006. The project helps states to identify reforms to prisons that save money without comprising public safety in the process.

Members of the commission such as Clackamas District Attorney John Foote disagreed with the some of the conclusions that Pew Center on the States reached after analyzing Oregon’s data. For example, Foote does not believe that Oregon was locking up too many low risk inmates as the Pew Center on the States claimed. Foote claimed that Pew used old data when reaching that conclusion and more recent data would show a different outcome. Pew is sending lobbyists to Oregon to lobby to for the proposal which so far has largely gone unnoticed by the general public.  Read more on Oregon’s prison system & the politics behind it here.

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Posted by at 12:22 | Posted in Uncategorized | 36 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Ballistic45

    When faced with a deficit or a spending cut, the Liberal rule is: “Always make those cuts to areas most likely to hurt the public the most or threaten to do so to those areas the public will most likely oppose cuts”..

    • DavidAppell

      Yes, because clearly Liberals hate everyone. Or, at least, thinking so alleviates you of the burden of confronting their arguments.

      See how simple this all can be?

      • Ballistic45

        History proves me right.. Obama, when failing to get an immediate debt ceiling increase threatened SS and VA recipients FIRST. Not a word about cutting Welfare and Social Services to his voter base… Now that Sequester kicked in, his Administration is cutting the highest visible areas to alarm the public and fulfil his doom and gloom predictions of what would happen yet give Egypt Millions of Dollars while doing these cuts .. It is also noted that the Constitution is seen by Liberals as a living Document to be changed with the whims of the current administrations agenda but that Union Contracts are considered written in Stone… Interesting you say Liberals hate everyone, of course you don’t mean other liberals, kinda like Muslims, they hate everyone who is not a Muslim.. Both feel the RIGHT to attack those not of their beliefs in anyway, any time with anything they want but howl like Banshees if anything is said or done against their agenda.. That explains why Liberals and Muslims support each others agendas… The need for the Governor to ‘RAISE REVENUE’ by releasing PRISONERS trumps public safety… Great argument……………..

        • DavidAppell

          Get your facts straight: the current budget sequestration is a LAW — the Budget Control Act of 2011. That LAW exempted certain programs, like Social Security, Medicaid, federal pay (including military pay and pensions) and veterans’ benefits. Obama has no choice about what areas to cut, only how to cut them. And if he and his Administration think certain areas are dangerous to cut, good for them for pointing that out by whatever means necessary.

  • concretehart

    If they would look at not spending verses saving as we have stated in numerous ballots cast over the years????

  • guest

    IMO, Kitz is craps and a has been all along. Why the Oregon electorate voting him one more chance challenges comprehension, but when you have the SOS doing what she does…it’s no wonder that Oregon’s ship of state will never ever resemble the McCall era – and that’s the toot!

  • valley person

    Typical conservatives. Complain about taxes and then complain about cuts in services. Grow up or win an election once in a while.

    • guest

      VP, thick as brick as usual.

      • guest

        VP – as in ‘thick as a brick’ incoming from a lobber who seemingly misunderstands the consequences of allowing socialist left wing governmentium go unchecked before moral and fiscal bankruptcy sets in.

    • DavidAppell

      Notice how they are studiously ignoring your point….

    • 3H

      Are you Ian Anderson?

  • noah

    Great info. They should ask Nigel Jaquiss to testify down in Salem. Let the lawmakers hear what everyone has been saying for ages but from a different voice.

  • Moe

    Release them and release them now. We have a teacher shortage and these people can help.

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