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prisons & prisoners

Prison Action Alert

Take action to save programs for prisoners, reform Measure 11, and stop the DOC from sending prisoners to out-of-state private prisons.
ISSUE UPDATE: Our three priorities this session are: 1) Measure 11 Reform 2) Saving the prison activities programs that have been targeted for funding cuts, and 3) prohibiting the DOC from sending Oregon prisoners to out-of-state, private prisons in the future. Here is our first Action Alert, followed by a brief update on our priority issues.

ACTION ALERT: March 5th, 2001

What You Can DO: Please write members of the Public Safety Subcommittee of the Ways & Means Committee and urge them to pass "HB2095 A-Engrossed", which prohibits the Department of Corrections (DOC) from transferring Oregon prisoners to out-of-state private prisons. While the measure does allow the DOC to transfer prisoners to other states, it does stop them from sending Oregonians to private prisons.

Why Is This Important? In the past, whenever the DOC has shipped prisoners out-of-state, it has been to private prisons, because the DOC believes they are cheaper. But the private prison industry has proven itself to be unsafe for corrections workers, prisoners and communities. Staff turnover in private prisons is 41%, compared to 15% in publicly managed prisons. Private prisons have also been subject to successful, high profile lawsuits proving cases of gross prisoner abuse. By shipping Oregon prisoners to out-of-state private prisons, we disrupt family ties that are a proven asset to prisoners' self-improvement, and we put Oregon taxpayers at risk because of the liabilities associated with problems at private prisons. Plus, prisoners are left to fend in unsafe and often abusive environments.

TAKE ACTION: Following are the addresses and email addresses for the members of the Public Safety Subcommittee. Please write today and ask them to pass "HB2095 A-Engrossed."
Chair, Ways & Means Public Safety Subcommittee: Senator Randy Miller, 900 Court St. NE, Room S-206, Salem, OR 97301. Email:  miller.sen@state.or.us
Members: Senator Lenn Hannon, 900 Court. St. NE, Room S-303, Salem, OR 97301. Email:  hannon.sen@state.or.us
Rep. Dan Doyle, 900 Court. St. NE, Room H-285, Salem, OR 97301. Email:  doyle.rep@state.or.us
Rep. Gary Hansen, 900 Court. St. NE, Room H-392, Salem, OR 97301. Email:  hansen.rep@state.or.us
Rep. Tim Knopp, 900 Court. St. NE, Room H-288, Salem, OR 97301. Email:  knopp.rep@state.or.us
Rep. Randy Leonard, 900 Court. St. NE, Room H-385, Salem, OR 97301. Email:  leonard.rep@state.or.us
Rep. Greg Smith, 900 Court. St. NE, Room H-280, Salem, OR 97301. Email:  smith.g.rep@state.or.us

There will be a major Measure 11 reform bill introduced in the House, at the urging of the Governor, but we do not yet have a bill number. As soon as we have more details, we will let you know. In the meantime, if you want to write your own Representative or Senator to urge them to support Measure 11 reform, please include the following points:
Urge their support for giving judges more discretion in sentencing people convicted of Measure 11 crimes, so that judges can take mitigating circumstances into account;
Urge their support for "earned good-time" for Measure 11 offenders, because it helps motivate prisoners to do well and improve themselves, which leads to greater public safety and fewer wasted lives;
Ask them not to treat youth offenders the same as adult offenders, and urge them to support additional judicial discretion for juvenile offenders.

Thanks for your help!

phone: phone: 503-335-8449