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I am pleased to see that the Legislative Joint Ways and Means Committee has asked to look into ways that the State of Oregon can save money within the corrections system. I am in full agreement that OYA and State Troopers need to be protected, but equally as important, I believe that Oregon’s current sentencing structure is financially unsustainable. It’s not just the current impact of Measure 11 or the pending impact of Measure 57. Oregon has the lowest earned “Good Time” opportunities for inmates in the entire country. The national average is 33% and Oregon sits at 20%. When you combine low good time with tough sentences, Measure 11 and Measure 57, the fixed costs will handcuff our state budget for eternity.
A solution is at hand that will cost us little and save the state significant money immediately. By increasing “Good Time” we will immediately begin to move inmates (who have served appropriate time) through the system. In doing so, we will be opening up much needed beds for the state. There are those who would argue that is light on crime, I say they are simply wrong, “Good Time” is earned by those who are compliant and who are working to better themselves, it is not just handed out to everyone. “Good Time” serves as a motivator for inmates to cooperate with corrections officers and has the potential to make our system more efficient and safer for the inmates as well as for corrections officers by providing hope and a viable incentive to guide positive inmate behaviors.
Earned “Good Time” has the potential to save our state big money (100’s of millions of dollars over time) it will reduce the need to expand current facilities (Shutter Creek) and build new ones (Deer Ridge & Junction City) thus saving the state construction costs and operation costs for years to come.
posted 3 years, 12 months ago
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