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MailTribune.com
  • Letters to the editor

  • The May 5 article, "The high cost of Measure 11," is a wake-up call for Oregon to steer away from the kind of runaway prison system that's swallowing up California's budget. In Oregon, increased prison spending comes at the expense of local public safety programs that are proven to cut crime and protect citizens.
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  • The May 5 article, "The high cost of Measure 11," is a wake-up call for Oregon to steer away from the kind of runaway prison system that's swallowing up California's budget. In Oregon, increased prison spending comes at the expense of local public safety programs that are proven to cut crime and protect citizens.
    Josephine County is among the hardest hit by this imbalance. In addition to our county going unpatrolled for hours every day, resources for the supervision of high-risk offenders have been reduced by 25 percent. In the meantime, the prison population is rising with the bulk of new inmates serving time for nonviolent crimes. These resources should be redirected to local law enforcement, supervision and treatment services, so we can be proactive in protecting our citizens by changing offenders' behavior before they take up a costly prison bed.
    House Bill 3194 would bring balance back to public safety spending by injecting $40 million into local communities. Right now, Josephine County Community Corrections receives zero county funding to support programs that supervise offenders on probation and parole as state dollars increasingly shift to prison operations. We need those resources to better protect our community. I urge state legislators to pass HB 3194. — Abe Huntley, Josephine County Community Corrections director
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