OREGON DISTRICT ATTORNEYS
Oregon is One of the Safest States in the Nation
There is a lot to be proud of in Oregon beyond our beautiful landscape. Oregon is now one of the nation’s safest states. Oregon enjoys one of the lowest crime rates in the nation, low incarceration rates, constitutional rights for crime victims, and proportional punishment for violent and chronic repeat property offenders. The state also concentrates its resources, more than any other state in the nation, on violent offenders, sex offenders, and offenders with increasingly serious criminal records.
Oregon's current success is even more remarkable when one considers the state of the system just 30 years ago. In the 1980s, Oregon suffered skyrocketing violent crime, high rates of property crime, no rights for crime victims, a lack of truth in sentencing, and a lack of justice through proportionate sentences. In those bleak times, Oregon's citizens lacked much faith in its criminal justice system to provide either justice or safety.
In 2016, the Oregon District Attorneys Association completed an analysis and report reflecting the steady progression of criminal justice reform in Oregon, including key dates that mark important criminal justice policy reform.
( Source: Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. 2015 Release of FBI Uniform Crime Reports for Oregon (September 26, 2016)
Prosecutors: Leaders in Innovative Criminal Justice Solutions
Oregon DAs have always been leaders in reforming our criminal laws in order to protect the rights of victims and defendants. Compared to the 1980’s, Oregon is now one of the nation’s safest states. It was not an accidental turnaround; but instead reflects decades of hard work by dedicated public officials and citizens who recognized that our safety is the cornerstone of the vitality of our communities.
For a more complete view of the role Oregon prosecutors have had in the evolution of the criminal justice system in Oregon, here is a link to a full report.
Oregon’s Best Practices in Prosecution
Across the state of Oregon, prosecutors are leading the way to ensure that the criminal justice system reflects the values of their communities through implementation of cost-effective, proven solutions designed to divert people from a life of crime.
There are many Alternative Sentencing Solutions and Diversion Programs that have been implemented in virtually every county in Oregon. These innovative programs are designed to keep people OUT of the criminal justice system while still holding them accountable.
Diversion Programs that replace jail time with community service, drug and alcohol testing, counseling and supervision.
Specialty Courts such as Drug, DWI, Mental Health, Veterans and others are designed to get offenders the treatment they need instead of incarceration