For anyone facing the criminal justice system, but especially for parents of college students or other young adults who have been charged with crimes, knowledge of the system is paramount. You want to know what the criminal justice system in Oregon is like, so you know what you or your child is going to be facing.
Although there are significant problems in the criminal justice system throughout the country, each state has its own unique issues and successes. While Oregon is far from perfect, the legislature has been working the past 20 years on reforming the state’s criminal justice system.
- Sentencing reforms: Oregon has long been a leader in conviction rates, this statistic needs to be nuanced. Is it truly helpful to incarcerate more people, especially those convicted of relatively minor crimes, while there are spacing issues for those convicted of more serious and violent crimes? To address this question, Oregon changed the mandatory minimums for some driving and drug offenses and incentive county-level drug courts and other alternatives to incarceration.
- Re-entry: Since 2003, the state legislature has worked to create rehabilitation programs to help those finishing incarceration sentences to re-enter society more effectively. There are pre-release planning and re-entry programs that help people succeed in life after incarceration, helping them find housing and employment.
- Juvenile corrections reforms: There have been significant reforms on the side of juvenile corrections. In 2019, the state passed laws that allow for reduced sentences, minimize the frequency of waiving juvenile offenders to adult courts and improve rehabilitation programming to open that space for more serious offenders.
It is clear that Oregon has made some strides to improve the overall criminal justice system in the state.
Even with these changes, you need to defend against criminal charges aggressively. Whether you are an adult or juvenile, and whether you are facing serious felony charges or low-level misdemeanors, you need to find a lawyer who will provide strong criminal defense for you.
Even though Oregon has been working to make a better criminal justice system, there is still a lot of work to be done and you need to defend yourself aggressively.