Kevin Mannix promised voters in 1994 that his Ballot Measure 11 establishing minimum mandatory sentences would create certainty in Oregon's criminal justice system. While the measure tripled the state's prison population over 20 years, a new report by the state Criminal Justice Commission finds that Measure 11 not only failed to deliver certainty, it has cost the state billions of dollars while it shifting sentencing power from the hands of judges to those of district attorneys - a shift many see as dangerous.
Recently I was asked to speak to a class about prison issues at Portland Youth Builders. This non-profit organization is committed to providing long term support for low income youth who have dropped out of high school.
Contact information: To become a student call 503/286-9350 – Ext 259, or to make a donation call (same number) 503/286-9350 – Ext 243.
A special thanks to the students and staff at PortlandYouth Builders for their hospitality and for doing what they do.
This week on Voices from the Edge, Jo Ann and Dave talked with Wray Harris, president of Iraq Veterans Against the War (Oregon) about who is paying the real cost of America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
For International Women's Day, Prison Pipeline brings you an hour long special focused on women in prison. We bring you excerpts from plays, music and poetry all created by women in prison. We share with you the history of female incarceration and the state of current women prison issues. We also bring you voices of women who have been incarcerated or have a loved one in prison.
On tonight's show, Prison Pipeline welcomes back Gretchen Vala from Oregon CURE. Gretchen brings with her Meredith Wexler. Meredith is an Oregon CURE board of directors member and mother of a recently incarcerated son. She shared her personal story with us, discussed Measure 11 and how she has benefited from being a part of Oregon CURE.