Oregon Expands Public Safety Reform Efforts

Governor Kitzhaber Calls for Policy Changes in 2013

Oregon Expands Public Safety Reform Efforts

Public Safety in Oregon

Governor John Kitzhaber signed an executive order today calling for a commission to make policy recommendations in 2013 that will improve public safety and cut corrections costs.

Oregon spends over $1.4 billion on corrections biennially. The Governor’s Public Safety Commission, with technical assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice and Pew's Public Safety Performance Project, will analyze the drivers of state corrections spending and identify policy solutions.

The executive order, which expands the commission to include members from law enforcement and Oregon district attorneys, comes at a time of strong public support for a range of sentencing and corrections reforms. A recent state-wide poll found that the majority of likely Oregon voters are in favor of policies that can reduce prison population and spending while protecting public safety.

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Data-driven policymaking is not just a tool for finding new solutions for emerging challenges, it makes government more effective and better able to serve the public interest. In the coming months, President Joe Biden and the 117th Congress will tackle a number of environmental, health, public safety, and fiscal and economic issues—nearly all of them complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. To help solve specific, systemic problems in a nonpartisan fashion, Pew has compiled a series of briefings and recommendations based on our research, technical assistance, and advocacy work across America.