A bill to strengthen the process for awarding Justice Reinvestment grants was passed out of the ways and means subcommittee on public safety on June 6.

House Bill 3064 A modifies the current justice reinvestment grant review committee by two members, adding organizations that provide services for underserved racial, ethnic,or minority communities. The bill also requires applicants to commit to decreasing county use of prison beds and creates measures of accountability and transparency in the grant process.

In its original form, the bill required counties, in their grant application, to have a letter signed by their district attorney, a judge, and their community corrections director. Due to differing positions on prison use, this requirement would have created challenging hurdles and gravely threatened a county’s ability to receive critical funding for programs that reduce recidivism.

Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) led discussions with county public safety groups to arrive at consensus on how grants could be submitted, the solution, now supported through HB 3064 A instills the four original goals of the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI) in House Bill 3194 (2013) to:  

  1. Reduce recidivism;
  2. Reduce prison population;
  3. Increase public safety; and
  4. Hold offenders accountable.

More information on JRI can be found here.

The bill now moves to the full ways and means committee for further consideration.

Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate