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FAMM Applauds Senator Jim Webb’s Bipartisan Bill to Overhaul America’s Criminal Justice System March 31, 2009

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Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) today expressed its support for legislation introduced by Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) and a bipartisan group of his colleagues to establish a commission to examine the nation’s criminal justice system. The National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009 will charge the blue-ribbon commission to undertake an 18-month, top-to-bottom review of the entire criminal justice system and offer concrete recommendations for reform.

Mary Price, vice president and general counsel of FAMM, issued the following statement in response to today’s bill introduction:

"We commend Sen. Webb and his colleagues for taking this important step.  We believe the commission will find that any comprehensive reform of our criminal justice system must include eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing laws. These laws take authority away from courts which the American people believe are better suited to make individualized sentencing decisions. Today’s one-size-fits-all mandatory sentencing laws have filled the prisons with low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who are serving sentences that do not fit their crimes. We can do much better, and Senator Webb’s proposal is a step in the right direction."

A 2008 FAMM poll found widespread support for ending mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenses and that Americans will support lawmakers who feel the same way.

  • Fully 78 percent of Americans (nearly eight in 10) agree that courts – not Congress – should determine an individual’s prison sentence.
  • Six in 10 (59 percent) oppose mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenders.
  • A majority of Americans (57 percent) polled said they would likely vote for a candidate for Congress who would eliminate all mandatory minimums for nonviolent crimes.
The poll bolsters the findings of FAMM’s comprehensive report, Correcting Course: Lessons from the 1970 Repeal of Mandatory Minimums , which describes how Congress created mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug offenders in 1951 and repealed them in 1970 because the laws failed to stop drug abuse, addiction and trafficking.  Congress repealed mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses in 1970 – and not one lawmaker who voted for repeal was defeated at the polls for that vote.  The full report can be found online at http://www.famm.org/NewsandInformation/Publications.aspx .


Oregon Bill Would Reduce Number of Parole Hearings March 30, 2009

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The state Legislature is considering a bill that would lengthen the time between parole hearings for some of Oregon’s most dangerous inmates.

The state’s three-member parole board has release authority for about 1,600 of the state’s 13,500 inmates. Most of the prisoners committed violent crimes more than 20 years ago, and receive parole hearings every two years.

House Bill 2335 would allow the board to establish longer intervals between hearings on a case-by-case basis. Two years would be the minimum; 10 years would be the maximum.

Relatives of murder victims say the current setup forces their old wounds to be reopened much too frequently. Gordon Spink, who last week attended the parole hearing for the man who killed his sister in 1985, told a legislative committee on Thursday that passage of the bill might spare his family the regular rounds of torment.

"It was basically watching our family relive the physical and mental anguish 25 years later," Spink said of the hearing for LeVelle Singleton, who clubbed Penny Young with a baseball bat after choking and stabbing her to death.

Singleton’s bid for parole was denied.

While Spink testified in favor of the bill, lawyers who represent inmates and criminal defendants cited concerns.

Bronson James, chief deputy defender for Oregon’s Office of Public Defense Services, said the bill might not be constitutional, and warned its passage could ignite legal challenges by inmates.

Current and former prosecutors testified in support. Darian Stanford, a Multnomah County deputy district attorney, described the 1,600 inmates eligible for parole consideration as the worst of the worst offenders.

Former Lane County District Attorney Doug Harcleroad pointed to notorious child killer Diane Downs as the type of inmate getting parole consideration every two years. Following a 2 1/2-hour parole hearing that attracted widespread media coverage in December, the board took less than 30 minutes to decide she was still a danger to society.

"This is a lady who should never get out of prison, in my opinion," Harcleroad said.


SCA Webinar for State, Local Government and Indian Tribe Applicants March 27, 2009

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The Council of State Governments Justice Center conducted a free webinar to help potential applicants respond to the Second Chance Act Section 101 solicitation for state and local reentry demonstration projects, which was released on February 27, 2009 by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), U.S. Department of Justice. The webinar featured Dr. Gary Dennis, BJA Senior Policy Advisor for Corrections, who explained the solicitation and application process, and answered common questions. (The grant application deadline is April 20, 2009.)



Bill Introduced to Eliminate Mandatory Minimums For All Drugs March 26, 2009

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Great news! The first bill of the new Congress to eliminate mandatory minimums for all drugs was introduced by Representative Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) on March 12, 2009.

H.R. 1466, the Major Drug Trafficking Prosecution Act of 2009, seeks to repeal mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders and to give courts the ability to determine sentences based on all the facts, not just drug weight. It would also refocus federal resources on major drug traffickers instead of low-level offenders. There is currently no companion bill in the Senate.

We are excited about getting this legislation passed, but we can’t do it without your help. It will take time and effort to make this bill become law. The first step is to ask your representative to become a cosponsor of H.R. 1466. If they already are cosponsors, please take a moment to thank them. FAMM’s action center gives you talking points to use in your letters and also lets you know if your representative is already on board. Click here to contact your representative now.

It won’t be fast and it won’t be easy, but by working together, with commitment and with focus, we can knock down mandatory minimum sentencing laws and insure that the punishment fits the crime once more.

Thanks for getting involved today!


Oregon’s Unique Problems: We Can Fix Them March 25, 2009

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The following is an editorial from State Senator Frank Morse :

The words of Sergeant Friday of Dragnet, the long-ago TV serial, come to mind, “Just the facts ma’am, nothing but the facts.”

While Oregon continues in an economic free fall, it is a good time to look at the facts. We all love our state dearly, and its uniqueness. However, there are some unique characteristics that are not so special right now and deserve an honest evaluation.

Uniqueness No. 1 — Initiatives and spending. While Oregonians treasure the right of initiative petition, the facts present a picture that many do not readily observe, namely the fiscal impacts of populist law making. Measures 5, 47, 50, 11, 66, and 99, all measures approved by voters and funded by the go-go economy of the 1990s, transferred to the Oregon Legislature the mandate to spend money. For example, where once the state funded 25 to 30 percent of K-12 education, it now funds 70 percent. In fact, nearly 50 percent of state discretionary spending at the end of the 2007 biennium was directly attributed to initiatives.

We now worry about funding Measure 57 of the last election, a legislative referral in response to the huge cost of the tough-on-property-crime Measure 61. How do we pay for it? Initiative petitioners incorrectly assume the state will have unlimited means to fund their initiatives.

And now the time is ripe for partisan finger pointing. Republicans look back to the “out-of-control” 20 percent increase in spending by Democrats for the biennium ending June 30, 2009. May I suggest we look back even further? Spending, beginning with the 1989-91 biennium, increased 21.2 percent. And then in successive bienniums, spending increased 17.3 percent, 20.5 percent, 15.9 percent, 18.3 percent and then 14.9 percent for the 1999-01 period.

The economy crashed in 2002 and spending decreased 4.2 percent in 2001-03. 2003-05 spending increased 5.7 percent, and 2005-07 increased 13.9 percent.

Are increases in spending the domain of only Democrats? No. Republicans, who controlled the legislature for most of the ’90s, have joined in the fray as well.

Initiatives have been the biggest spender and they have foreclosed spending on other critical services such as higher education, which ranks 44th in the nation in state support. Simply put, initiative petitioners want a free-wheeling initiative process but are loath to recognize their own hand in increasing spending.

Uniqueness No. 2 — Income tax. Oregon’s dependence on one single source of revenue is exceeded only by Alaska’s dependence on energy. What we have come to realize, all too painfully, is that the income tax has the greatest volatility of any method of taxation. In fiscal 2002, Oregon’s actual revenue declined 20 percent from estimated revenues, the largest decline of any state, save only for Alaska which depends on oil. What we know is that the income tax over-produces when times are good and under produces when times are bad.

Uniqueness No. 3 — Kicker. No other state has what Oregon has enshrined in the constitution, namely that when actual revenue exceeds by 2 percent or more the forecast revenue, all the excess is returned to personal taxpayers by check and to corporate taxpayers by credit on future taxes. The kicker does dampen the growth in spending that would arise from the extreme volatility of income taxes, but it has also preempted the ability to save for a rainy day.

In 2001 we sent back $254 million to taxpayers and then borrowed $450 million to rebalance the budget in 2003. Same song, second verse. In 2007 we sent back $1.1 billion and now have cut $855 million to rebalance the budget in 2009, an equivalent cut of 30 percent for the last four months of this biennium.

Then add a $3.0 billion and growing deficit for 2009-11, and is anyone asking, “Does this really make any sense?”

Throw the initiative, spending, income taxes, and the kicker into the pot, stir it and you get what we now have, a mess!

The problems are systemic and structural. Initiatives are promoted and passed without regard to how they will be funded, leaving funding gaps for the balance of public needs. Highly volatile tax revenues produce too much and then too little leading to boom-bust cycles. And the kicker, when combined with the pressure to spend on initiatives, precludes setting aside unanticipated good-time revenues for the bad times.

We are not without choices.

We must create a more thoughtful initiative process, not to deny access but to better inform voters. (SJR 11, HJR 17, SB 656 and HB 2845).

We must reform our tax code to lessen volatility, increase take-home pay, encourage investment that increases jobs, and increase revenue for the budget gaps caused by initiative spending. Tax cuts can be achieved by broadening the tax base through a sales tax, (HB 3269).

And finally, we must amend how we forecast revenue to create a mandatory savings rate from both personal and corporate tax revenues, with the savings going into a constitutionally dedicated Rainy Day Fund in an amount equal to 10 percent of the previous General Fund budget. This means changing the kicker, not abandoning it, (SJR 29).

Do we have the will to build a better foundation for Oregon? I certainly hope so.


FAMM is on Facebook

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Families Against Mandatory Minimums is on Facebook! We invite you to join us on this popular social networking site and help spread FAMM’s message of sensible sentencing to all of your family and friends.
FAMM has three official pages on Facebook:
If you’re not already on Facebook, all it takes to join is an email address!  The first step to signing up is to click here and follow the directions. It’s easy and free.

Part of FAMM’s mission has always been to mobilize thousands of individuals and families whose lives are adversely affected by unjust mandatory minimum sentences.

FAMM’s presence on Facebook and your participation by inviting others to join helps us reach a wider and broader audience with whom we can share the injustice of mandatory minimums.  Working together, we can change these laws!

To start exploring FAMM on Facebook, just click the button below.

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State Wants To Send Female Inmates To Wapato Jail March 22, 2009

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The long-shuttered Wapato jail may finally open to house female prison inmates, whose numbers are expected to surge in the coming years, under a proposal being discussed between the state Department of Corrections and Multnomah County.

Corrections Department Director Max Williams made the proposal at a recent meeting with County Commission Chairman Ted Wheeler.

Under the plan, the state would pay the county about $4 million during the next two years to take over responsibility for up to 200 female inmates from the Portland area who are within a year of being released.

A promise to open Wapato was a key part of Wheeler’s successful 2006 election campaign. Peter Ozanne, the county’s deputy chief operating officer for public safety, said county officials are "very interested" in Williams’ proposal.

The use of part of the 525-bed Wapato jail would provide a short-term solution to a looming problem for the state prison system. The only women’s prison in Oregon is Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville.

Coffee Creek has 1,240 beds and housed 1,096 female inmates as of last week, according to the state. The DOC forecasts that 345 female inmates will enter the prison system during the 2009-11 budget cycle, 281 of them sentenced under the terms of Measure 57.

Measure 57, which Oregon voters passed in November, lengthened sentences for repeat drug and property crimes and required drug and alcohol treatment for offenders.

Crimes covered by Measure 57 include dealing methamphetamine, heroin or cocaine, aggravated theft from the elderly, property crimes such as burglary and auto theft, and identify theft. Almost half of those convicted of ID theft are women.

The use of Wapato jail to house state female inmates would relieve a nagging, five-year headache for Multnomah County. The empty jail in the St. Johns area of North Portland stands as a tower of embarrassment to county government. It was completed in 2004 at a cost of $58 million, but it has never housed a single inmate because the county doesn’t have the operating money.

Meanwhile, the county will spend $379,000 in the next fiscal year to maintain the jail.

Williams said Coffee Creek is expected to reach capacity in July 2010. He said one alternative would be to convert an industrial work area for inmates into dormitory-style housing at a cost of about $2 million.

Instead, Williams suggested to Wheeler that overflow female inmates who are nearing their release dates be sent to Wapato, which the county would run. The proposed $4 million state payment would include the cost of operating part of the jail through June 2011.

One likely complication in reaching a state-county agreement on Wapato is a thick set of restrictions set out in a conditional-use permit granted by the city of Portland before construction began. Williams said this could affect such issues as outdoor recreation areas, outside work crews and inmates’ release into the community.

Williams disclosed his conversation with Wheeler after state officials were asked about Senate Bill 684, introduced by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene. The measure would compel Multnomah County to sell Wapato to the Corrections Department. The bill appropriates $1 to buy the jail but also sets out a detailed process to agree on a fair price.

Williams said that his department had nothing to do with the bill and that he has not discussed a possible jail purchase with lawmakers. "I would not seek legislation to force them to sell something for $1," he said.

Prozanski called the bill "basically a placeholder" as state officials consider options for Oregon’s growing prison population.


Oregon Legislators Work On School Sex-Abuse Laws March 17, 2009

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The seventh-grade girls in Mark Leichty’s science class at North Albany Middle School said he knelt by their desks, put his arm around their shoulders and let his hand slip down near or on their breasts.

Leichty said he knelt beside the girls to talk to them privately and rested his arm on the back of their seats. He may have inadvertently touched their shoulders, he said, but he didn’t touch their breasts.

During a five-day hearing two years ago, the case boiled down to the teacher’s word against his students. A wrong decision would either unfairly ruin a man’s career or expose teenage girls to a sex offender at school.

Leichty’s case illustrates what’s at stake as legislators craft new laws to try to improve school defenses against educators who sexually abuse children. Lawmakers have drafted seven bills to try to resolve the same questions that confront administrators: What teacher conduct constitutes a boundary violation? What is necessary to prove misconduct? Should unproven allegations be included in personnel files?

Lobbyists for teachers, administrators and school boards are meeting with lawmakers to try to resolve those questions.

"Yes, we want to protect the schoolkids of Oregon, but we also want to remember the teachers have rights too," said Rep. John Huffman, R-The Dalles, member of the House Education Committee.

One measure under consideration is House Bill 2062, which would bar administrators from making deals to conceal an educator’s misconduct in exchange for his or her resignation. The Oregonian documented 47 secret agreements and described the practice, known among educators as passing the trash, in a two-part series last year.

Administrators sometimes resorted to confidential agreements in cases clouded by doubt. A teacher, for example, would be charged with improperly touching students without solid evidence. Or teachers would violate student boundaries with personal comments, suggestive notes or inappropriate invitations, yet commit no crime.

The simplest way to get such teachers away from students is to persuade them to resign. So administrators sometimes offered to keep the accusations against educators secret, even write recommendation letters, if they would leave quietly.

Salem-Keizer School District in 2004, for example, cut a secret deal with Kenneth John Cushing, then 44. Administrators wanted to get him away from middle school students while the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission, the agency that licenses and disciplines teachers, investigated allegations that he inappropriately touched at least eight girls. Officials promised not to reveal his behavior if potential employers called looking for references.

Legislators want to ban such deals without violating the rights of teachers

Sexual misconduct "is a career ender for educators," said Chuck Bennett, Lobbyist for the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators.

Mark Leichty can testify to that.

On Feb. 11, 2004, his 43rd birthday, he was called into the vice principal’s office and told he was being charged with touching the breast of a girl in his science class.

"That absolutely devastated me," he said. "I didn’t even know who it was."

His problems started in the previous year, when three female students complained that he touched their breasts. One would later say he rubbed her back and shoulder but did not touch her breast.

Leichty denied touching any girl improperly. His vice principal, however, warned him in a letter that "touching of any kind that makes a child or staff member feel uncomfortable is inappropriate."

The letter gave weight to the charge he faced a year later on his birthday from a female student who, with several misspellings, wrote:

"He lend over me and put his left arm on my shoulder. Next he slid his hand closer to my brest. Slides hand down to brest above nibl."

Leichty said he did not touch the girl’s breast, but he did try to befriend her in class as part of a mentoring program for which he volunteered.

In March 2004, Leichty was arrested and charged with eight counts of first-degree sexual abuse based on accusations of improperly touching the girl and other female students during the previous school year.

His teaching days were over.

More than a year passed before the Benton County district attorney’s office dismissed criminal charges against Leichty. By then, parents of two of the girls he was accused of touching had filed a civil suit against him and the district. All parties settled out of court for undisclosed terms.

Then in 2006, the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission charged Leichty with gross misconduct and prepared to yank his license. He exercised his right to an administrative hearing.

During the five-day hearing in October 2006 in Salem, detectives, school administrators and three middle school girls testified against Leichty. Sixteen people, including many fellow teachers, parents and several students, defended him.

The judge noted that during depositions for the civil case, the girls’ accounts of "when and how often the touching occurred differed from their initial statements and complaints."

After hearing the arguments, the judge recommended Leichty be reprimanded and put on probation for two years, which would have allowed him to return to the classroom. He had a clean record after 17 years of teaching, with consistently positive evaluations and praise from many students who admired him, the judge said.

But the teacher standards commission concluded there was a preponderance of evidence showing Leichty improperly touched students "on or near their breasts," warranting the revocation of his license.

Leichty now runs a plant nursery that he started on the Albany farm where he grew up. He could apply to renew his license. He’s even had job offers from other schools.

But Leichty said he isn’t ready to go back into a classroom. False allegations, he said, have cost him his career, his reputation and tens of thousands of dollars in earnings.

"How do we protect people in my position?" he asked. "Because the reality is there are mistakes that get made."

That question has complicated several bills the Legislature is wrestling with. Senate Bill 48 would make it a felony crime, rape in the third degree, for any school employee to engage in sex with a student, even if the student is 18, the age of consent, or older.

Legislators are amending that bill so that teachers would lose their licenses for having sex with an older student, as most do now, but not go to jail, said Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee where the bill is expected to be introduced.

Senate Bill 45 mandates that an educator suspected of a boundary violation could not work directly with children in a school, community college, university or child care facility until the charge is investigated. Now it is possible for suspected educators to keep teaching while they are being investigated, said Vickie Chamberlain, executive director of the teacher commission.

That bill will be merged with House Bill 2062, which would not only ban secret deals but also allow parents to sue any district that concealed the misconduct of an educator who abused their child, said Rep. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, chairwoman of the House Education Committee. The House bill also will be broadened to apply to all school employees, not just licensed educators, she said.

"My commitment is that we are going to pass a bill out," Gelser said. "The primary thing is it is going to keep kids safe. And we are going to do it in a way that doesn’t end the career of educators who actually didn’t do anything wrong."


Storm For Sentencing Reform March 16, 2009

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There is the perfect storm for sentencing reform brewing right now.  Three members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced bills that would, if they pass, change the face of sentencing!

  • Rep. Waters wants to eliminate mandatory minimums. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) introduced HR 1466, the "Major Drug Trafficking Prosecution Act of 2009.” The bill would get rid of all mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses; discourage federal prosecutions of low-level drug offenders, and allow courts to place drug offenders on probation or suspend their sentence. Introducing her bill to Congress, Waters cited FAMM’s "Correcting Course " report as evidence that Congress has shown the will to repeal drug mandatory minimums before and should do so again. Click here to read Rep. Waters’s statement.
  • Rep. Scott seeks to end mandatory minimum sentencing for crack and powder cocaine.Congressman Robert "Bobby" C. Scott (D-Va.), introduced H.R. 1459, the "Fairness in Cocaine Sentencing Act of 2009." The bill would eliminate the distinction between powder cocaine and crack cocaine; eliminate all mandatory minimum sentences for cocaine, and establish the possibility of probationary sentences for cocaine offenders.
  • Rep. Davis demands more good time. Congressman Danny Davis (D-Ill.) introduced H.R. 1475, the "Federal Prison Work Incentive Act of 2009," legislation that would substantially revive the good time system that existed before November 1, 1987, when the Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) was passed. The bill would increase good time and provide additional opportunities to reduce a sentence by engaging in work opportunities.
  • You can learn more about these bills by clicking here .

    The economic crisis was already draining state budgets. Now we’ve learned that for the first time ever, prison and probation costs are rising faster than any other state expenses, including Medicaid, education, and transportation!

    These findings were released in a report published last week by the Pew Center for the States, which also found that an astounding number of people in this country – 1 out of 31 – are in jail or prison, or on parole or probation!

    One out of 31 people…  If this depressing trend continues, one child out of every grade-school classroom can expect to be under correctional supervision in the future.

    This bleak situation makes the message that FAMM has been sending for years easier to hear.  Our practical, front-end, and permanent solution of reforming sentencing laws can help states climb out of their budget holes without jeopardizing public safety.

    And we see many states already moving in that direction.

    Just weeks after FAMM launched its new campaign in Nevada, policymakers there are poised to introduce a bill to limit the reach of the state’s mandatory minimum penalties.   New York’s draconian Rockefeller drug laws are finally on the brink of falling after 35 years.  And, according to the Pew report, even conservative states like Texas and Kansas have already implemented non-prison alternatives to help people get back on their feet and save taxpayers money.

    Sometimes it takes a crisis to bring the change that is a long time coming. The Pew report makes clear we have reached a crisis point. The skyrocketing economic cost of one-size-fits-all sentencing can no longer be ignored. We need to repeal wasteful mandatory minimums NOW!

    So, please, help us make the most of this crisis by passing the reforms we’ve always needed. Your support makes all the difference.  We must move now before the perfect storm passes.

    FAMM (Families Against Mandatory Minimums) is a great organization committed to working for fair and proportionate sentencing laws.

    They need your help today. Please click here to make a secure online donation, or send a check or money order to FAMM, 1612 K St. NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC, 20006.


    Rethinking the costs of Measure 11 March 13, 2009

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    The state of Oregon is in financial trouble. State economists are predicting a $3 billion budget shortfall in 2009-2011, resulting in less for schools, health care and public safety.

    How did we get in this mess? Obviously there are national economic problems, but Oregon is in particular trouble. One major reason seems to be Measure 11, the mandatory sentencing law that sends so many of our citizens to prison for long periods.

    When someone enters prison, Oregon pays twice. First, it costs approximately $25,000 per year to incarcerate an individual. Second, that person is not working and paying taxes that the state could use to finance other services. That person is also not paying child support or providing emotional or financial support to his or her family, so imprisoning an individual for misdeeds has a price the entire community pays.

    Currently in Oregon we have about 14,000 inmates in 14 prisons run by the Department of Corrections. This does not count people incarcerated in the various county jails throughout the state.

    In Oregon, the "tough on crime" movement — fashionable in the 1980s and 1990s — resulted in Measure 11, which voters passed in 1994. This measure imposed mandatory sentences for various crimes. No one convicted under Measure 11 receives time off for good behavior in prison.

    Shortly after Measure 11 was passed, then-Gov. John Kitzhaber commented, "School districts will cut hundreds of teachers but we will be hiring a thousand new prison guards. So we won’t be teaching your kids, but we will be guarding them well." We are now watching his prediction come true.

    Measure 11 was passed in the hope that it would improve public safety, but this has not proved to be the case. Although crime rates went down in Oregon, they also went down in states without mandatory sentencing. Obviously, factors other than long prison sentences are affecting crime rates. Recent research from the Pew Center indicates that the "tough on crime" movement has incurred huge costs without improving public safety.

    Now we are stuck with a system that does not provide safety and is causing enormous financial problems. How do we change what we are doing?

    The Oregon Legislature can change or revoke Measure 11 with a two-thirds vote in each chamber. For a legislator to vote for this will take courage and conviction because some anti-crime organizations in our state fan the flame of fear that public safety will suffer if long mandatory sentences are abolished, despite all available research showing this rhetoric is mistaken.

    Perhaps the most reasonable starting place would be a modification of the measure. If individuals who are sentenced under Measure 11 could earn time off for good behavior, we would save significant amounts of money. If offenders were released even a year early, we would save millions in incarceration costs alone. This is a significant sum that could well be used for other services in our state.

    We need to recognize that Measure 11 is not giving us the results that we want, and we need to modify it accordingly. As Gov. Ted Kulongoski pointed out before announcing his budget, "Now it’s a choice between building prisons, and health care and schools."