Chaired by Chief Criminal Court Judge Cheryl Albrecht
ORS 1.851 directs the presiding judge of each Oregon judicial district to establish a local criminal justice advisory council “to consider and address methods of coordinating court, public defense and related services and resources in the most efficient and cost-effective manner that complies with the constitutional and statutory mandates and responsibilities of all participants.” In addition to the presiding judge, these councils are required by statute to include the district attorney, the local correctional administrator, public defense service providers, and representatives of the county bar association and local and state law enforcement agencies. Additional members may be added to the advisory councils at the discretion of the presiding judge.
A variation of this advisory council has existed in Multnomah County since 1988, before the foregoing statute was enacted. During its first year of operation in 1995, LPSCC created a Court Workgroup with a mission and membership similar to CJAC’s. In order to avoid confusion and duplication of efforts, that workgroup was merged into CJAC in 1996.
As the primary forum to resolve operational issues in the Circuit Court and to review and approve policies and practices affecting the court, CJAC has played a central role in LPSCC’s initiatives over the past 15 years. CJAC’s most significant actions have included (1) advocating for evidence-based sentencing and corrections practices through the development of DSS-J; (2) designing and implementing specialty courts such as Drug Court, Domestic Violence Court; Community Court and Mental Health Court; (3) establishing an automated Court Appearance Notification System to reduce the failure to appear rate of criminal defendants; (4) co-sponsoring Multnomah County’s 2008 Public Safety Plan, a six-month project involving over 80 stakeholders from the public and private sector that proposed the most cost-effective use of the County’s public safety resources and (5) providing continuous review and recommendations to the presiding judge on the presiding judge's standards for (a) pretrial release without posting a security amount prior to a first court appearance, (b) the schedule of security amounts by offense for a security release prior to a first appearance and (c) standard conditions to be imposed for release from custody prior to first appearance under the presiding judge's authority.
Projects & Accomplishments
In addition to its role in addressing operational challenges in the Circuit Courts and issues affecting the administration of the criminal justice in Multnomah County in 2009, CJAC has undertaken the following tasks:
- Supervised the integration of the County’s two pretrial services programs.
- Developed and implemented a new Security and Emergency Plan and Business Continuity Plan for the Circuit Court
- Established procedures to implement Ballot Measures 51 and 52
- Developed procedures to implement Ballot Measure 57
- Created procedures to expedite the disposition of criminal cases in order to hasten the release of defendants subject to holds from other jurisdictions to the custody of those jurisdictions
- Designed and implemented a process for the conduct of “good time hearings” under House Bill 3508 (2009)