The projected incarceration rate of Oregonians is expected to fall by 11 percent over the next decade. That’s according to the semi-annual prison population forecast issued by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis.
Analysts said a measure signed into law in August by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is largely responsible for the downward trend. The bill was primarily aimed at reducing the incarceration rate of women by reducing sentences for some property crimes and improving post-prison support.
Andy Ko of the Partnership for Safety and Justice said the goal of the changes was to save money and produce better outcomes.
“They’re not mutually exclusive, the idea of keeping people out of prison and increasing public safety,” Ko said. “It’s just a question of how we do it, and whether we do it in a smart way.”
The measure that’s being credited with lowering Oregon’s projected incarceration rate passed the Legislature on a nearly party-line vote. Prosecutors opposed it, calling it unnecessary.