April 14, 2015

On April 6th, Oregon’s Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) hosted over 400 people for the first Justice Reinvestment Summit in Salem, Oregon. The goal of the event was to bring together counties who have been receiving Justice Reinvestment funding to share their experiences. The Justice Reinvestment grant program is a result of legislation passed by the 2013 Legislature that modifies sentencing and reserves Oregon’s prison space for the most serious, violent criminals while dramatically cutting prison costs through investment in local public safety systems.

Partners from Multnomah County’s Justice Reinvestment Program (MCJRP) included staff from the Department of Community Justice (DCJ), representatives from the Troutdale Police Department, Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon Judicial Department, District Attorney’s Office, Citizens Crime Commission, Defense Bar, and the Multnomah County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC). DCJ staff in attendance included Probation/Parole Officers assigned to this program.

The day began with a keynote address by Governor Kate Brown expressing her support for this program and the importance it has played in increasing collaboration among public safety partners. She expressed her belief that keeping people out of prison and in the community is an important investment to make. Several counties, including Multnomah County, shared the details and outcomes from their programs. The theme of the day centered on collaboration with each presentation including representatives from the various public safety partners. Multnomah County’s “data team” also presented on how they have collaborated around data collection and analysis. This team is a subcommittee made up of data analysts representing the County’s public safety agencies that helped develop and implement the justice reinvestment program.

The summit closed with an address from Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. She spoke about the importance of addressing the needs of crime victims. As she put it, successful justice reinvestment means fewer victims of crime. She was proud that Oregon is the only state that has carved out an allocation of the Justice Reinvestment funding to go to organizations that provide services for victims of crime. At least ten percent of Justice Reinvestment funds go to community-based nonprofit victims services programs.

Learn more about the Multnomah County Justice Reinvestment program.