Justice Reinvestment aims to reduce prison spending by investing in local public safety programs. The purpose of this grant program is to provide funding for counties to plan, implement, or expand initiatives that meet the four goals of Justice Reinvestment:
1) Reduce recidivism through evidence-based practices;
2) Reduce prison populations for property, drug, and driving offenses;
3) Increase public safety; and
4) Hold offenders accountable.
History of the Justice Reinvestment Grant Program
From 2000 to 2010, Oregon’s incarceration rate increased at a rate three times the national average, increasing the state’s prison budget by 40 percent, to more than $1.6 billion. In response to this rapid growth, the Oregon legislature created the Justice Reinvestment Grant Program with House Bill (HB) 3194, in 2013. This made several modest sentencing changes with the goal of reducing prison populations, reducing recidivism, increasing public safety, and holding offenders accountable.
The grant program distributed $15 million among all 36 counties to begin their Justice Reinvestment programs. For the 2015-17 biennium, the grants totalled $38.7 million. The Legislature approved $40.1 million for the grant program for 2017-19.
Before HB 3194, the April 2013 corrections forecast estimated that Oregon should plan to house 15,706 inmates in state prisons by July 1, 2019. The latest forecast, issued April 2017, calls for only 14,867 inmates by that same date, a reduction of 839 inmates. As a result of the slowing growth of the prison population, Justice Reinvestment is projected to result in more than $250 million in avoided costs for Oregon by the end of the 2017-19 biennium. Of those avoided costs, $140 million are attributed to delaying the need to build a new male prison facility in Junction City until late 2025. Other avoided costs include $52 million in the 2017-19 biennium from avoided Department of Corrections (DOC) operational costs due to housing, feeding, and supervising a smaller incarcerated population.
The Justice Reinvestment Grant Program is administered by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. It requires a data-driven approach to (1) analyze criminal justice trends to understand drivers of local prison use; (2) promote the effective implementation of investments that increase public safety and improve offender accountability; (3) measure the impact of policy changes and reinvestment resources; and (4) tie results to future funding. Proposed programs should be based on existing research and evidence-based practices.
For more information about the Justice Reinvestment Program, click HERE. (http://www.oregon.gov/cjc/justicereinvestment/Pages/default.aspx)
NOTE: Subpages will be provided with information about Klamath County JRI Funding and supported programs.