Tag Archives: PSJ

Tough on crime advocates turn to new bag of tricks

By David Rogers, Contributing Columnist

In late July, Oregonians found out there was new opposition to much-needed criminal justice reform. Actually, it’s old opposition that has developed a new front group.

Steve Doell, director of Crime Victims United, has apparently created a new group called the Truth in Sentencing Project. The Truth in Sentencing Project went on the air in late July with a short radio ad in a new effort to manipulate the public.

The ad tells listeners that Oregon’s prison system is so costly not because of high incarceration rates, but because our average cost to incarcerate an inmate is so expensive. Doell’s ad tells people that “Inmate costs are $82 a day in Oregon. $52 a day in Idaho.” He suggests if we made incarceration costs more in line with Idaho we would save plenty of money. Continue reading

Decriminalization lessens collateral damage of marijuana arrests

By Naivasha Dean, Contributing Columnist

Chances are, you’ve signed a petition or two recently. Advocates looking to get their initiatives on the ballot in November must reach 116,283 valid signatures by July 6, and the impending deadline means that they’re ramping up their efforts. Chances are also good that you’ve encountered a signature gatherer that asked you to sign a petition to decriminalize marijuana.

You might already be familiar with the arguments — our current marijuana laws cost too much to enforce, and they don’t work. But what you’ll rarely hear from the person with the clipboard is that the injustices go much deeper than a matter of principle, or a waste of time and money. Oregon’s 475,000 marijuana users are facing even more alarming collateral consequences — especially if they happen to be people of color. Continue reading