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Oregon commission considers easing Measure 11 sentences to spare more prison construction December 18, 2012

Posted by FairSentencing in : Current News , trackback

The state Commission on Public Safety is scheduled to vote this afternoon on a reform package that would roll back prison sentences imposed by voters under Measure 11 and Measure 57.

The change is part of an effort to corral the growing costs of Oregon’s prison system, now costing taxpayers $1.3 billion in general fund in the current budget cycle. State officials say if nothing changes, taxpayers will have to fund add $600 million in the next 10 years to build and operate prisons to house 2,300 more inmates.

The commission is expected to consider removing mandatory sentences for three Measure 11 crimes – first-degree sex abuse, second-degree assault and second-degree robbery.  Voters approved the tougher sentences in 1984.

The commission is being urged to also modify some sentences of Measure 57, targeted at repeat property and drug offenders.

The state’s prosecutors have vigorously fought the changes.  They proposed two of their own that will be considered today – reducing the harshness of marijuana possession and distribution crimes and eliminating prison as a sanction for felony driving while suspended.

Gov. John Kitzhaber is counting on significant reforms to come from the commission. He recently proposed a 2013-2015 state budget that includes no money for new prisons and a flat prison population, currently standing at 14,000.  Corrections Department officials were anticipating opening vacant prisons in Salem and Madras and launching construction of a new prison in Junction City during the next budget cycle.

The governor instead is looking to beef up spending with counties so they can better manage those on probation and parole. He is recommending an extra $32 million for such work, but hasn’t provided details on how the money would be used.  State funding for community corrections work has eroded in recent years.

The Commission on Public Safety also is considering ways to release inmates sooner from prison if they meet certain conditions, such as completing in-prison schooling.

The commission also will considering making the Corrections Department more efficient by driving down the daily cost of an inmate from the current $82.48.

Kitzhaber is likely to support the commission’s recommendations, and then it will be the Legislature’s to chew over the reforms. Any sentencing changes likely wouldn’t take effect until next year and wouldn’t provide any reduction for inmates already convicted of the Measure 11  and Measure 47 crimes.



1. Sharon A - December 19, 2012

baby steps

2. Cary lundgren - December 28, 2012

They need to do a lot more than that and reduce the measure 11 hate sentences! They need to give the incentive of good time back to all prisoners!
How many years need to be taken, how does that make it better?
The system needs to give the inmates the reduction of time by showing positive changes, allow them to work toward improving themselves through education, being volunteers, making amends, working and donating to victims, and allowing prison reform to be creative to stimulate positive change in inmates!
Help inmates earn their way out of prison! Give them the opportunity to see positive by responding in a positive way!
Our society needs not sentence with the hate of measure 11 which is intended to waste years and years of the offenders lives. It’s wrong to destroy these often young people’s lives, and even take away all incentive to persue making themselves better by learning reform education and feeling remorse! Give them all reductions through good time for the ones who deserve it!

3. M. Johnson - April 7, 2013

I totally agree with the post by Ms. Lundgren. I’m appalled at the lack of justice in the system…innocent until proven guilty is a myth!! My son is a first time offender, who was involved in an altercation with his former roommate while both were intoxicated. Eventhough the roommate initiated the fight, my son was the only one arrested as there were no witnesses…only the roommate’s accusations. The roommate claimed a “weapon” was pointed at him in his police report…but he later recanted to several friends, but not to the police or DA, of course. My son had a do-nothing court appointed attorney who did very little to represent or advocate for alternative sentencing for my son…such as inpatient alcohol rehab. He now sits in prison for a mandatory 60 months with no stipulation for rehab…just do his time!! What a waste of years for my son…who had a home and good paying job prior to this incident. I agree, there are few positive incentives for the inmates…and the least our “justice system” could provide is a reduction in their sentence for good conduct. I will never be the same after going through this experience with my son…and I have lost most of my respect for the Oregon judicial and correction system. Both are based on hate and ruining peoples lives…not reform and providing opportunities for change and improving their lives.
M. Johnson

4. rmhindependence - April 26, 2013

What is the percentage in reduction that is being considered for M11 offenders? For instance, 30% off time left to be served? or 10% off complete sentences given?

5. D Traw - May 23, 2013

We had the same experience with our son as M. Johnson. He was a WITNESS to a tragic accident where a child died. The mother admitted she saw the other car coming yet still pulled out in front of the 1st car. 2 young men in separate cars going home after work, NO drugs or alcohol were involved, only thick fog-as stated in the police report. My son is only listed as a witness as he was turning on the street he lived , where she pulled out of. Somehow the DA decided that he was going to “set and example” about “speed racing” and sentenced both of them under Measure 11 to Man 2 and Assault 2! They will never have a drivers license and always be listed as “violent offenders” for going home after work!!! Yet DUI drivers get less time for killing people! Where is this “justice”? And they get no good time or programs.This has affected our whole family and business since they both worked for us. We have NO respect for ANY LANE CO judge, DA, PD or cops! They are all corrupt and work on Favors” it’s not guilty or innocent anymore. it’s who you know and $$$$ I agree with everything M. Johnson says, our correction and judicial system is just a money maker for the state and a total wate of taxpayers money!

6. Cary lundgren - November 5, 2013

There needs to be some type of fairness to the court system! How fair can it be if you would compare the amount of money used for the prosecution compared to defense! What is the ratio dollars spent to prosecute verses for defense in a on average!

7. rebecca - April 16, 2015

My son is in prison for a measure 11. His sentence out weighs the crime. Does anyone know where I can get more information on the measure 11 repeal in Oregon. Thank you

8. Margaret - April 22, 2015

SLAVERY IS ALIVE AND WELL IN OREGON—You get VERY LONG Sentences_ NO PAROLE—when you are finally released—it is called P.O. suprevision BUT it is connected to the PAROLE BOARD–who can send you back to prison.. You are NOT ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE STATE.. This is the MEASURE 11 LAW.. The JUDGES have no POWER. The DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ARE BOUND AND DETERMINED to make a NAME for THEMSELVES.. The POLICE PROFILE YOU.There is no Justice in this STATE.. The Courts use PRO-Tempe {lawyers} to sign papers to issue you fines which are excessive amounts – then send to collections.. This is not a camera on police yet-Mayor dragging his feet. This is all totally corrupt!!!!!

9. Mike - February 6, 2016

My brother is serving ten years prison sentince and when he gets out another ten years post conviction for a one day trial on a sex abuse one 2counts that never happen. There was no investigation there was never no evidence just hear say. The man never had a chance from the start his attorney laugh at me when I ask why didn’t you fight the measure 11 she said because they were dead set on giving him that. Are you kidding me you didn’t fight because they were dead set to send a man that’s 50 years old with no record of any kind to prison plus ten years post on hear say the judge in this case had been over loaded with cases for months he never heard a dam thing that was being said and when my brother would not take a plea the judge said in his own words I don’t believe the older child at all but I believe the younger one and there fore by refusing to take the plea I have no choise but to charge you with both giving him the measure 11 sentince of ten years in and ten years post and register as a sex offdenr for the rest of his life on a sex abuse one are you kidding me I no for a fact that they traded my brother who was 50 now 55 for the next case of a younger man who had now this is the kicker for a younger man who had you heard me right 85 counts 85 counts going back over ten years 85 counts same judge same DA and sadly enough the same attorney we had paid for and the young man walk out of the court house with ten years unsupervised probation now if you don’t smell a rat then your not reading my story they took my brother a man who would give you the shirt off his back a man who took pride in the things he built a man who love to hunt and fish and help any one who needed it and ruin his life on hear say they all were so lazy about trying to get to the truth because he lived a lone and they thought he is an easy mark no one will miss him and he don’t have the money to fight with and railroaded him in less then 8 hours the trial was over and he was on his way to prison. He has been afraid and scared to death since the first day he had never ever been in a jail cell before all a lone in prison with a sex offender jacket and if you all don’t know this that is not a charge you want to be in prison with they strip him of everything pure and good in his mans life and for what 85?dollar a day. We have been to every one we could think of for help this case is so black an white even a ex department of justice attorney said this case should never have made it to court never it was all on he said she said and nothing else. But guess what folks he’s still in prison because in this state no one has the back bone to say the judge in this case was wrong in his finding and that it desurves a new trial nope no one no one will go aginest a judge it’s been five years now the family will never be the same my brother will never be the same and as for me I will not stop fighting until I get my brothers name restored I’m hoping that this new governor will at least read what I have to say and look in to it every other time I get a stupid letter back saying how sorry they are about my brother but the governor is to busy to read your letter you have to go though the justice sytiem and folks that’s a joke there is no justic for anyone in this state. My story is sad but true I’m getting ready to take it public I have good ole Dr Phil looking in to it a long with a few others They know they are wrong and they don’t want to admit that then they would have to pay for wrongful conviction but like I said I will fight this all the way to my grave. In closing I don’t believe in every case is the same that’s just bullshit how ever I do belive in justice and justice for all you can kill people and get less time then what was given to my brother and as far as a sex offinder in prison goes they have and live a nightmare every night the other inmates treat you like your not even human and go as far as to hurt you every chance they get we have paid for protection for my brother to another in mate that befriended him since day one yes we pay to keep our brother safe he is not guilty but yet he is in prison what a living hell thank you for reading my story and God bless every one who is living this nightmare with your loved ones Mike

10. steve - July 2, 2016

Nice to see the oregon COMMISSION thinking about a stupid warehouse for inmates rather than consider the INMATE and family in this process. what a joke of inhumane idiots worried about the bottom dollar and not HUMANITY. all they care about is money and what it will bring in in the long run. If it were their son or daughter in prison under such a backwards law, they would be in here voting against it too….HYPOCRITS!! I suggest they change all signage at state prison facilities and remove the word “correctional” to “corruptable”.

11. FedUP - November 14, 2016

Hear me when I say, WE ALL have to band together to make a change and we can’t give up! WE must NOT give up! Our loved one’s are counting on US! We are the only ones who care! So it’s up to us to MAKE CHANGES! AND MAKE THEM ASAP!
And as far as “Correctional” What are they correcting????? NOTHING! they don’t provide any counseling,or therapy! NOTHING!!! WE HAVE the PEOPLE HAVE TO CHANGE THIS!!! We can’t continue to let the DA’s have all the control! The Judges need to have it back! PLEASE make it to the next “Time Does Not Fit The Crime” meeting!! coming soon!

12. Christina - May 28, 2017

My son went thru what Mike’s brother went thru. My son was accused of sex abuse first degree by his dad’s ex fiance after she found out that the (dad) was staying at my home at my two son’s request because they were scared that their dad was going to did from loss of blood from the gashes in his hand from punching his exes window during their altercation. Well when he told her he couldn’t babysit their kids because he was having lunch with our youngest son and that was not OK with her whatsoever, she did not like my boys to spend time with their dad because it was time taken away from her kids, About two month’s after her finding out he was staying at our home for a few days so his hand could heal, my oldest son gets accused with sex abuse first degree by his half sister’s. Supposedly it was happening for a yr and a half, which is impossible because they were living out of town for over a yr when this supposedly took place and he seen them twice after they moved back and then she moved and he didn’t know where they moved to and never saw them again. Like Mike’s brother my son’s public defender just sat on his ass and spew out lies and raised hopes. He never sent out his Investigator to come talk to us or try to get info to prove my son could not have done what he was being accused of. My son suffers from mental disability and since my son is unable to comprehend and understand what was happening to him, his Attorney made my son think that he was doing what is needed to prove he didn’t do it, so my son trusted him and all he did was fed my son lies. They had him do a IQ test and his IQ is 71, he has had a mind of a child. With MEASURE 11 charges if the victim said you committed the crime that is all that is needed, they do not need evidence. My son will never be the same, all of his life people have hurt him, the Judicial system abused him by not fighting for him.