Governor Kitzhaber today released the following statement as the Joint Committee on Public Safety passed House Bill 3194, a bill to improve Oregon's public safety system.
"In November 2012, I reconvened the Commission on Public Safety to review Oregon's public safety system and develop fiscally responsible, data-driven policies and practices that protect public safety, hold offenders accountable, and control corrections costs. The Commission's unanimous report was taken up by the Legislature, which has worked with a broad group of stakeholders to come up with policy changes that will reduce recidivism, protect public safety, and create savings that can be reinvested in public safety at the local level.
"I'm pleased that HB 3194 is consistent with the goals I set for the Commission. It will help the state hold prison beds flat for at least the next five years, generate savings of almost $17 million this biennium, and allow for reinvestment in community corrections and local public safety priorities that are our best hope to reduce corrections costs over the long term.
"I'm encouraged by the collaboration among stakeholders to challenge the status quo and come up with a comprehensive public safety package. I thank the many people who worked together, including the four co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Public Safety; the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police; the Oregon State Sheriff's Association; and the Oregon District Attorneys Association. I also want to commend Chief Justice Paul De Muniz for his leadership; the Department of Corrections and Director Colette Peters; the Criminal Justice Commission; community corrections directors; the members of the Commission on Public Safety; and the staff of the Pew Center on the States. We would not be in this position today without the contributions of all the advocates who played a critical role in the process."