Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski has ordered a review of Oregon’s public safety system, including an assessment of Measure 11, the mandatory sentences voters approved in 1994.
Kulongoski also called for two statewide summits in the coming months that focus on juvenile crime and on Oregon’s preparedness for natural or human-caused disasters.
Kulongoski said he called for the review to ensure that the state’s public safety system, which has faced heavy budget cuts in the past two years, “sufficiently protects Oregonians and strengthens Oregon communities,” reported the Associated Press
It was unclear how much change Kulongoski can create, given the state’s financial problems and public reluctance to go easier on felons. With Measure 11, judges have little leeway in reducing mandatory prison sentences for violent offenders.
Rep. Wayne Krieger, R-Gold Beach, a member of the sentencing task force, said the mandatory sentences have worked in some cases, but they’ve also vastly increased the state prison population and the amount of money the corrections system takes from the general fund.