Probation officers in Portland’s Multnomah County are saying good bye to 200 shoplifters, junkies, vandals and other “low level” misdemeanor criminals, reports The Oregonian. “You do not need to report to a probation officer,” says a letter to them. “This action is related to a budget cut.” In the county budget starting July 1, the community justice lost $660,000, or 25 percent of funding, for monitoring criminals on probation. With another big cut expected next year, about 800 misdemeanor offenders won’t be supervised by probation officers. Only nonviolent offenders will be cut loose.
Among the eligible: drunken drivers, car prowlers, trespassers, drug users, and flashers. People convicted of sex-crime and violent misdemeanors, however, shouldn’t get their hopes up. They stay under supervision. Most Oregon counties already have adopted a similar strategy with misdemeanor drug and property criminals. The letter to offenders ends on a trusting note: “We hope that you make every effort to remain crime-free.”