On March 25, the Joint Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Public Safety will hold its first public hearing on SB 5504, the Department of Corrections budget. Advocates from various stakeholder groups will testify on the budget between March 25 and March 28, highlighting key program areas that need critical funding as budget cuts are looming. Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) President Martha Schrader (Clackamas County) and Public Safety Committee Co-Chair Jay Bozievich (Lane County) will testify as part of a team representing counties.

AOC will be advocating for funding in key programs and services at the public hearing, including fully funding community corrections at $319 million, which includes a recently conducted cost-study identifying actual time that county community corrections officers spend on supervising offenders. Schrader and Bozievich will also advocate for current service level funding ($50 million) for the Justice Reinvestment Initiative, a localized approach to spending resources that allows counties efficiently and effectively invest in programs that reduce recidivism, increase public safety, and decrease prison use. More information on Justice Reinvestment can be found here.

Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate