The Multnomah County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council (LPSCC) has long focused on coordinating efforts among local partners to promote a more equitable criminal legal system. However, in January 2020, the council began a process of envisioning a wholly transformed public safety system during the What Works in Public Safety Conference, which gathered local and national experts from healthcare, human services and the judiciary, as well as law enforcement, defense attorneys, community providers, victims’ rights advocates and representatives from county and city government.
That conference concluded with a collective pledge to focus strategies on transforming the current system into one that is adequately equipped to respond to behavior rooted in social problems, such as racism and poverty. Participants agreed that the most effective pathway toward that goal is by shrinking unnecessary incarceration and growing approaches grounded in housing, health, behavioral health and culturally specific supports.
An outside firm, Territory, will facilitate a unique process of collaboration between criminal legal system leaders, health system leaders, elected officials, providers, victims of crime and individuals with lived justice system experience. As an agency without previous affiliations to criminal justice work, Territory will be able to focus on uncovering and capturing the public safety expertise that exists among the stakeholders participating in this effort.
The goals of this work will be to design the future state of local criminal legal policy that will be tangible and implementable over the next 2, 5, and 10 years. Before any concrete planning starts, the project will address reckoning for harms done, and then move to reconstruction.
The project will launch early 2021. The timeline will be updated.