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Prelim report shows no recidivism spike for inmates released

Mail Tribune file photo

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A preliminary report by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission found some people released early from prison because of the COVID-19 pandemic were not more likely to commit crimes.

Gov. Kate Brown commuted the sentences of 963 people mostly considered medically vulnerable or near the end of their sentences between July 2020 and October 2021.

Nonpartisan state agency, the Criminal Justice Commission, looked at the first 266 people granted release between July and November of 2020, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported.

The agency found 18% were arrested within one year of their commutation, 8% were convicted of a new crime and 2% were reincarcerated.

Commission executive director Ken Sanchagrin said those numbers are similar to figures from 2019 involving people granted release or parole.

The report found of the commuted people who reoffended, 10 involved a crime against another person.

“It doesn’t appear that being let out early for these folks had any type of negative impact as far as higher rates of recidivism that we would normally expect,” Sanchagrin told OPB.

The agency will issue another report in the next year, he said.

Brown has faced some criticism, and a lawsuit, over the pandemic-related commutations.